Jan 22, 2013, 9:58 AM EDT
I was introduced to the term “wanderlust” about 15 years ago in Douglas Coupland’s seminal book Generation X.
It seemed to stretch the definition of the word, expanding it beyond geographical attachments. It was more than the tendency to physically wander; it could also apply to wandering desire.
Today I am wondering about wandering, as it applies to the Vancouver Whitecaps.
The news of the day is that Barry Robson and the Whitecaps have cut ties.
In a vacuum, the move makes perfect sense, especially as the veteran midfielder may have had family issues to consider. Either way, Robson never had the desired impact. Not even close in my mind.
I kept hearing that the caffeinated ginger made the team better, that his influence was more than the sum of his passes and midfield interaction. I tried ever so hard to see it – but I simply could never get there. I did see the feisty Scotsman holler and gesticulate a lot. But there was generally more sizzle than steak, and the team’s long, slow spiral upon the man’s summer arrival did nothing to support hopes of an impending Robson revelation.
He was 34 and set to make $600,000, so yesterday’s choice seemed easy – in a vacuum, that is.
The trouble I see is with the bigger picture at Vancouver. Specifically, what is the bigger picture?
They hired a technical director (Tom Soehn), who named a manager (Teitur Thordarson, who was already with the club). That lasted three months. Time for change.
I mean, hey, they gave it a shot! Right? It was clearly never going to work. Right?
Soehn took over. That lasted a few months; he returned to his former post as Martin Rennie came in.
Soehn and Rennie seemed to be onto something as they remade the roster for 2012. The season was going pretty well, especially considering this was a sophomore side in MLS.
So, clearly … time for do-over!
They endeavored to re-make the re-make, and things eventually were not much better for it.
Obviously, that’s a condensed version of events. It’s all more involved. But the bottom line is this: I see a lot of wanderlust at work.
I see something similar in a few of my single friends, what I like to call the “illusion of infinite choice.” That is, this dangerously misguided notion that something better is always out there. Just waiting to be had.
Talented types have come and gone with too much frequency around BC Place, Davide Chiumiento, Sebastien Le Toux, Lee Nguyen, Eric Hassli, Mustapha Jarju, Terry Dunfield and others. And this for a club that has played exactly 68 league matches.
And now Robson, who was the centerpiece of the first remodel. Or, was that the second remodel?
Honestly, it’s getting too hard to track them. And that is not a good thing for a club so new to MLS.
Jul 4, 2015, 11:23 PM EDT
On a day where Laura Bassett showed great resolve, England won over many neutrals.
Jul 4, 2015, 10:30 PM EDT
The U.S. hasn’t given up a goal in 513 minutes at this World Cup, heading into the final against Japan.
Jul 4, 2015, 10:00 PM EDT
Kei Kamara -> Ethan Finlay (x2) was all Crew SC needed to jump three places in the Eastern Conference.
Jul 4, 2015, 9:20 PM EDT
Eduaro Vargas and Paolo Guerrero beat all the big names to the 2015 Copa America top scorer’s award.
Jul 4, 2015, 8:00 PM EDT
The solidarity between Japan teammates — and between the two teams contesting the final — is remarkable.
Jul 4, 2015, 7:04 PM EDT
It took 99 years, but Chile are finally champions of South America after defeating Argentina in a penalty shootout.
Jul 4, 2015, 6:28 PM EDT
Steven Gerrard is winning points with LA Galaxy supporters before ever stepping on the field for his new club.
Jul 4, 2015, 6:07 PM EDT
Regulars in the latter stages of the Champions League, Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid continue their summer spending sprees.
Jul 4, 2015, 3:30 PM EDT
We go once more at the 2015 Copa America. This time it’s Argentina vs. Chile for all the marbles.
Jul 4, 2015, 3:09 PM EDT
Carli Lloyd has taken rightfully taken over the spotlight, but Morgan Brian’s supporting role is no less important.
Jul 4, 2015, 1:18 PM EDT
Croatia’s most successful club has seen police throw its president and manager in prison.
Jul 4, 2015, 12:07 PM EDT
Popularity of women’s soccer has improved greatly the past few years, but there’s still much work to be done, and the US international isn’t happy with FIFAs parading of accomplishments.
Jul 4, 2015, 10:50 AM EDT
With the Dutchman set to turn 32 before the start of the league season, Manchester United may look to cash in on his star power after a down year.
Jul 4, 2015, 10:22 AM EDT
The German international didn’t get a first-team guarantee from Arsene Wenger, so he moved on.
Jul 4, 2015, 9:47 AM EDT
Stoke had an offer accepted by Inter, but two more clubs are reportedly in the mix for the Swiss international.
Jul 4, 2015, 8:31 AM EDT
Argentina looks to end a 22-year continental trophy drought against the hosts who have never won the Copa America.
Jul 4, 2015, 7:56 AM EDT
Your transfer activity on this July 4 morning.
Jul 4, 2015, 1:15 AM EDT
Tyrone Mears scored an absolute beauty late in the match to down a ten-man D.C. United.
Jul 4, 2015, 12:59 AM EDT
The English defender is still getting over the heartbreak of an own goal.
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