Vancouver Whitecaps are building a great side for the future - the Galaxy aren’t.
This is a super quick post I threw together after looking over Vancouver’s squad after the rumoured Bolaños transfer + LA’s moves for Larentowicz and rumoured moves for Cole and Magee. Enjoy!
With the addition of Christian Bolaños next week, the Vancouver Whitecaps are edging closer to their final roster for the upcoming 2016 season. Bolaños will be the 24th player on the Whitecaps’ roster, with more additions likely in the draft with Vancouver picking at 19th, 29th and 36th in Baltimore next week.
Because of this, I thought it would be a good time to look at how the roster is shaping up from an age perspective. The plot below is a great way to visualize this - taking inspiration from work done by John Burn-Murdoch and Ben Torvaney.
Reading this chart is really simple: you have the age of the player displayed on the x-axis and the value of the player (taken from Transfermarkt) on the y-axis.
I’ve highlighted the “peak years” of a player’s career using the two vertical lines - which are between the years of 27 and 29 (I feel players are at their peak between these years).
From this we can see that the Whitecaps have a lot of young players who are a few years off their peak age. Their only true peak age player (in the criteria of 27–29 anyway, feel free to disagree with me) is Kendall Waston. They also have relatively few older players, with Bolanos becoming the second oldest player on the roster behind Pa Modou Kah.
New-joiner Kudo is a great addition both age and value wise - and should provide good competition for Rivero up top. Furthermore Christian Bolaños is a like-for-like replacement for Mauro Rosales - and three years the Argentine’s junior.
This Whitecap’s side could definitely challenge again for MLS cup next season, but if they can keep the majority of the squad’s players together over the next couple of seasons they are going to become a real force.
For comparative purposes, below is the LA Galaxy’s age and value matrix.
As you can see from the Galaxy plot, Gerrard and Keane head up a roster that is far older than the Whitecaps one. The rumoured arrivals of Magee and Cole (please no) would further add to the over-30's in the squad.
This Galaxy squad does have a lot of peak age players though in the squad this season: Rowe, Garcia, DeLaGarza, Husidic and Rogers all are approaching what may be their best professional seasons.
For all intents and purposes this could be a good year for the Galaxy, taking advantage of some peak age players and squeezing out the last remaining year of players like Keane and Gerrard - but they’re definitely not built for the future like the Whitecaps are and that will need attending to sooner rather than later, otherwise the Galaxy will be in a mess for 2017.
Dollars and Decisions.