5 Key Players to Vancouver Whitecaps’ 2014 MLS Season

5 Key Players for the Vancouver Whitecaps

5 Key Players for the Vancouver Whitecaps
Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

The Vancouver Whitecaps' season got off to a great start in the most surprising match of week one in MLS. The 4-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls was more than new coach Carl Robinson could have asked for, but the coach still has some moving parts as players return to full fitness. He will need his veterans, especially in the back line to provide leadership to keep the Whitecaps on the right track.

5. Darren Mattocks

Darren Mattocks
Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

5. Darren Mattocks

Darren Mattocks
Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Darren Mattocks is not a fan favorite in Vancouver as he has shown no consistency. His poor attitude has also garnered understandable chagrin from fans. The team needs his pace and skill on the field to run at opposing defenses, so he will have to keep his attitude in check. It won't hurt to get back on the good side of Whitecaps fans either.

4. Matias Laba

Matias Laba
Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

4. Matias Laba

Matias Laba
Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto FC had to ship off one of their designated players and the Whitecaps swooped in and got Matias Laba. The 22-year-old midfielder is happy that Vancouver gave him a chance to stay in MLS displaying the right attitude through the transition. In a deeper role, Laba will be able to help the back line and can be trusted in that role.

3. Pedro Morales

Pedro Morales
Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

3. Pedro Morales

Pedro Morales
Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Carl Robinson is going to end up with more options in the midfield than he may have expected with the addition of Laba and the current form of Russell Teibert. However, Pedro Morales is a designated player and showed his worth by contributing to the first two goals this past Saturday. He is the pure playmaker that Vancouver needed.

2. Steven Beitashour

Acquiring Steven Beitashour in the offseason was a big deal for Vancouver and was noticed across the league. Some regard Beitashour as the best right-back in the league, and his ability to start the offense from the back is well above average. He now has some international experience and will be asked to be a constant in the defense.

1. Jay DeMerit

Jay DeMerit
Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

1. Jay DeMerit

Jay DeMerit
Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

For most teams in MLS, the defense is vital as the Whitecaps proved by putting four on the Red Bulls. Jay DeMerit is the cornerstone of the back line for Vancouver and is the captain for his play and leadership. In a recent interview with ProSoccerTalk, Demerit said he wants to be a good leader on a good team and earn respect from his teammates and coaches. That sounds like someone giving it everything.

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