The Vancouver Whitecaps never looked like a serious playoff contender and finished in a disappointing eighth place in the Western Conference. Clearly, there's some work to do. Where should they start?
Jennifer BuchananJennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Spor
Figure out an identity
What is the right style of play to make the Whitecaps a tough opponent? It's a question they never seemed to answer this season. Should they be a counterattacking team? Press high and hammer their way at teams? Slowly build out the back through possession? They need to sort that out.
Joe NicholsonJoe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
A target striker
The Whitecaps tend to do their worst to opponents down the flanks, but they really haven't generated much from the front of goal. Of their goal haul in 2016, precious few actually came from regular forwards. A marquee No. 9 up top could help get the job done.
They’ve got some decent speed on wings, but what they really lack is creativity. Their attack simply isn't dynamic enough and they don't have the personnel to attack in different ways. If they can bring in a player or two that offers a bit of unpredictability, that should help.
Bill StreicherBill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
An actual right back
The Whitecaps don't have a good long-term solution here and it was a problem all year. Fraser Aird had been filling in that role, despite being a right midfielder, and it didn't go so well. Jordan Smith wasn't a great solution either. The Whitecaps did just acquire Sheanon Williams from the Houston Dynamo, which was one of the league's most inconsistent defenses this season, so we'll see if that's what they stick with. It's a decision the 'Caps need to get right.
John HeftiJohn Hefti-USA TODAY Sports
Depth at central defense
The Whitecaps do have players that may be able to form a good partnership in Kendall Watson and David Edgar. But they need some depth and some options here, particularly because Watson could not stop accruing red cards this season, amazingly for both club and country, which is a problem to be addressed in and of itself.