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Vanni Sartini names Vancouver Whitecaps player who can be key to 2023 hopes

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Vancouver Whitecaps head coach Vanni Sartini believes striker Brian White could hold the key to the team’s success in 2023.


The American forward was an immediate hit when joining the Whitecaps from the New York Red Bulls in 2021, scoring 12 goals and providing five assists in 27 regular-season appearances that campaign.

However, some bad luck with injuries at the start of the 2022 season slowed his progress, with White scoring just four goals in 26 MLS games.

That said, he did prove how much of a difference-maker he can be, scoring three goals in three games to help VWFC lift the Canadian Championship for the first time since 2015.

With Canada international Lucas Cavallini now out of the picture having moved to Liga MX side Club Tijuana, more pressure has been heaped on White to deliver the goods this season. He certainly has the backing of his head coach.

“Last year it was very, very unlucky year for him, because an injury at the beginning (of the season), then a concussion, then he broke his ribs. He was never 100%,” Sartini said of the 27-year-old. “If he’s able to stay healthy, he’s going to be able to help us with his link-up play, with his pressing, and being in the right space at the right time.

“He needs to understand that he’s gonna be a very important player for the team. Even if he’s not gonna score 20 goals, he’s going to help the team score a lot of overall goals.”

Sartini is such a big fan of White that he even named him among his favorite strikers in the world, mentioning him in the same breath as Sadio Mane – though the comment was, of course, tongue in cheek.

“I’m biased because Brian, for the characteristic of player that he is, is one of my favorite strikers in the world,” said Sartini.

“I really like Mane … but I don’t think he’s available on the market,” he added with a laugh. “I like a lot of players in MLS, but it’s like betraying my kids if I say that I like someone else. So I like (my players) more.”

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