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.
Jun 19, 2013, 2:00 AM EDT
Feel free to ask yourself at this point: where would the United States be in World Cup qualifying without its young, in-form striker:
Jun 18, 2013, 11:54 PM EDT
Jozy Altidore was the hero for the United States, cooly slotting a left-footed shot to hand the Stars & Stripes a 1-0 victory over Honduras.
Jun 18, 2013, 8:33 PM EDT
The LA Galaxy coach has taken aging players and made them useful parts of the roster before:
Jun 18, 2013, 7:14 PM EDT
Everyone loves “The Pope”
Jun 18, 2013, 3:30 PM EDT
Our weekly re-ordering of Major League Soccer teams, following 16 rounds of play:
Jun 18, 2013, 2:05 PM EDT
Some of the best U.S. success in the past has come when the United States was backed into a corner. Tonight looks much different:
Jun 18, 2013, 1:30 PM EDT
There are a few choices to be made ahead of Tuesday’s match in Utah:
Jun 18, 2013, 12:30 PM EDT
Unsaid in this narrative is this: most U.S. sites are bright and alive these days.
Jun 18, 2013, 11:06 AM EDT
Stuart Pearce has been relieved of his duties as manager of England’s U-21 squad.
Jun 18, 2013, 9:34 AM EDT
Australia join Brazil and Japan as nations that already have booked their place in next summer’s World Cup.
Jun 18, 2013, 7:56 AM EDT
Hearts have put the entire squad up for sale to raise the reported £500,000 needed to get the club to the start of the season.
Jun 18, 2013, 12:10 AM EDT
Brazil has infrastructure concerns. They’ve also spent $3.3 billion on soccer stadia. No surprise, people aren’t happy.
Jun 17, 2013, 10:43 PM EDT
The mythology of Ajax, Dutch soccer and one stars’ struggles outside the Dutch league make this potential transfer difficult to evaluate.
Jun 17, 2013, 8:23 PM EDT
It’s only a matter of time before Ancelotti’s holding pattern’s resolved.
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