Ryan Gauld has helped stave off the scent — now it's time to pay the bagpiper

Scottish ahead Ryan Gauld has already etched himself into the annals of Vancouver Whitecaps’ staff historical past in three quick years, however heads into the 2024 marketing campaign and not using a deal past that.

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The stench was plain. A miasma of disgrace and company malfeasance that permeated the ambiance across the Vancouver Whitecaps’ group, sending followers scuttling for the exits like that one time I set off a stink bomb in Ms. Shioya’s Grade 10 laptop science class.

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For a number of years, the stain of the Bob Birarda state of affairs and avid participant administration stank to excessive heaven. It was dangerous sufficient some staff workers stopped sporting their membership gear in public.

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However that looks like so way back now.

The ham-handed executives concerned within the Birarda brouhaha are lengthy gone, as is the duo of Carl Robinson and his shadow normal supervisor, David Baldwin. Alphonso Davies is extra targeted on his subsequent step as an expert — all indicators level to Actual Madrid opening up the chequebook to lure him from Bayern this summer season — slightly than what occurred to his switch price bonus.

The Vancouver Whitecaps come into the 2024 marketing campaign because the two-time defending Canadian Championship titleholders, having made the playoffs two of their final three years, and taking part in a beautiful, offensive model of soccer, with marketable and relatable stars.

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And most significantly, there’s not a whiff of the impolitic. The nose-blind devoted who caught it out are being rejoined by the previous informal soccer followers, with curiosity rising within the membership as soon as once more. They even cracked the 30,000-fan mark for the primary time within the staff’s MLS historical past, though the common by means of the B.C. Place turnstiles was the second-lowest within the non-COVID-19 seasons of their time within the league.

Now’s the time for the membership to seize that brass ring, to make the most of what’s in entrance of them and make it again to relevance within the metropolis.

“If we wish the eye and we need to make (Vancouver) a sports activities metropolis, that’s right down to us,” mentioned attacker Ryan Gauld. “It’s good to see the Canucks are doing properly within the NHL this yr. I feel we now have completed a great job within the final couple of years of creating a constructive influence within the metropolis, and we’re attempting to do this yearly; to develop the membership within the metropolis and make everybody proud to be a Whitecaps’ fan.”

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Successful helps, and there hasn’t been sufficient of that. And the low season transactions made by the staff to this point haven’t precisely shovelled coal into the boiler of the hype prepare both.

They’ve signed two gamers — Damir Kreilach and Fafà Picault — who’re properly north of age 30 and mixed for 9 targets and two assists within the common season in 2023. Richie Laryea, who was speculated to be a Designated Participant, has vanished into the ether this winter after the asking value from Nottingham Forest was too wealthy for the Caps be capable of flip his mortgage in to a everlasting switch.

Which brings us again to Gauld.

Unquestionably an important participant on the staff, and presumably over the previous decade, as he comes right into a contract yr. The Caps had no issues negotiating an extension with their different DP, Andres Cubas, properly earlier than his contract was set to run out. (He’s now signed by means of 2026, with a 2027 choice.)

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However Gauld comes into the ultimate yr of his deal but to be signed. He instructed European media he hadn’t obtained any affords final yr, and talks have began now.

He’s acknowledged a number of occasions, at the same time as lately as Monday, how a lot he enjoys residing within the metropolis and being a part of the membership. However he’s additionally gone on file saying how a lot he loved taking part in in Portugal, and would love to return — and never only for trip, like he did in December.

“I just like the membership (Whitecaps) and town, however it will depend on what they need and provide,” he instructed File journalist David Novo. “However I additionally loved taking part in in Europe and I’ll take heed to whoever needs to speak to me and resolve.”

He’s trusting his agent to take his wants and needs under consideration within the talks, preferring to remain out of the boardroom negotiating, so can solely provide up ambiguous feedback on his future with the Caps. However he will be definitive concerning the current.

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“Whether or not one thing will get completed within the subsequent week or in six months, the efficiency and the angle within the pitch for me can be the very same,” he mentioned. “I’d simply say that as a membership, we’re seeking to progress. We’re seeking to take the subsequent step ahead. Two of the three years that I’ve been right here, we’ve misplaced within the first spherical of the playoffs. So the principle goal for the staff this yr is to … progress loads additional within the playoffs. Do a greater job of selling the membership within the metropolis and attempting to win. That’s the tip objective.”

He loves town. He loves the staff. He’s proven it. Now it’s time for the staff to like him again.

And to stop any previous scents from creeping again in round this staff step one is easy: signal Gauld.

[email protected]

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Jan. 10-30: Coaching camp in Marbella, Spain.

Jan. 31-Feb. 1: Journey to Vancouver.

Feb. 6: Journey to Langford.

Feb. 7: CONCACAF Champions Cup Spherical 1 first leg versus Tigres UANL at Starlight Stadium.

Feb. 12: Journey to Monterrey, Mexico.

Feb. 14: CONCACAF Champions Cup Spherical 1 second leg at Tigres UANL at Estadio Universitario.

Feb. 14-15: Journey to California.


All occasions Pacific.


Saturday, March 2, vs. Charlotte FC at 4:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 23, vs. Actual Salt Lake at 4:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 30, vs. Portland Timbers at 7:30 p.m.


Saturday, April 6, vs. Toronto FC at 4:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 13, vs. Los Angeles Galaxy at 7:30 p.m.


Saturday, Could 4, vs. Austin FC at 7:30 p.m.

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Saturday, Could 25, vs. Inter Miami CF at 7:30 p.m.


Saturday, June 1, vs. Colorado Rapids at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 29, vs. St. Louis CITY SC at 7:30 p.m.


Wednesday, July 17, vs. Sporting Kansas Metropolis at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 20, vs. Houston Dynamo FC at 7:30 p.m.


Saturday, Aug. 24, vs. Los Angeles FC at 4:30 p.m.


Saturday, Sept. 7, vs. FC Dallas at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 14, vs. San Jose Earthquakes at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 28, vs. Portland Timbers at 7:30 p.m.


Wednesday, Oct. 2, vs. Seattle Sounders FC at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 5, vs. Minnesota United FC at 4:30 p.m.

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