Tireless Teibert may stand on high of Caps file e book this weekend

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There are few players on the Vancouver Whitecaps list as polarizing as midfielder Russell Teibert.

In this black and white binary world you are either with him or against him; There is no middle ground.

Fans grumble about his back pass while others praise him as part of his ability to help his team maintain possession. His fit, which is best on the team, is just under 90 percent for his career, but that, his critics say, can be explained by his short, non-progressive distribution.

Critics point to his lack of offensive output – no goals and no assists so far this season – while his defenders point out that he is among the team leaders in interceptions and is the lowest rate expropriated among midfielders.

But it’s perfectly clear that his coach values ​​his contributions as much as his current teammates.

Marc Dos Santos handed Teibert 17 starts in midfield in 2018 – only behind Felipe and Alphonso Davies – and more than in the two previous seasons together under Carl Robinson. In 2019, the native of Niagara Falls, Ontario posted a career high of 26 starts and 2,202 minutes, just behind designated players Ali Adnan and Hwang In-beom and center-back Erik Godoy.

This season, the 27-year-old has started every game except for one stretch of three games where he was injured.

Of the last eight games he has played for more than 70 minutes, the Whitecaps are 4-0. In the three games he missed because of an injury and one in which he limited his minutes from medical staff , the caps are 0-4.

And there’s one constant about the Caps’ seven wins: he’s the only player to start in all of them this season.

“Russell … for me … every coach in the world, every team, they’d love to have a player like Rusty,” said Adnan, the left-back who has played with Teibert on the flank in the last three games Exhibition in symbiosis.

“(When he was injured) we missed him as a player. Now he’s coming back, he’s bringing a lot for the team. As a person, he’s our captain … He’s a very tactical player and he’s helped me a lot on the left … And I need players who get along well on the field. So I can do my best. “

On Wednesday Teibert and the hats Jordan faced Harvey and LAFC. Until this game, Harvey was Vancouver’s absolute front runner in MLS appearances. Teibert is now linked to him at 179 and could move up to the top on Sunday if they travel to Los Angeles to face the galaxy (7:30 p.m. TSN, TSN 1040).

In the days following his 200th overall game with the organization while the team was in Orlando, Florida for the MLS is Back tournament, Teibert signed another contract extension that would keep him at the club until the 2023 season, with an option for ’24. After that contract expired, he would be 32 years old, nearly two decades after joining the club’s residency program as a teenager.

“There are still a lot of decorated professionals out there who do a lot more, a ton more appearances than I do at this club,” said the 5-foot-8, 150-pounder. “Bobby Lenarduzzi, 362, and Carl Valentine, 409, have played hundreds more games than me, so I’m nowhere near writing that kind of story, but it’s an accomplishment I could never have dreamed of -year-old comes to Vancouver. This club gave me everything I need to be successful. “

Due to his longevity, Teibert is only behind Harvey and keeper David Ousted in the regular season start and minutes column and behind Pedro Morales in the MLS assists (17/22). If there was a category for work speed and endurance, he would already be a leader there – by a country mile.

“Rusty grew up here. But we don’t give him any meaning just because he grew up in the club, ”Dos Santos said earlier this year as Teibert approached a milestone. “If he was a big man and his name was Martinez, we might say, ‘Ahh, what a player. ‘I don’t think people are always fair to him, but we appreciate what he gives the team.

“Maybe there is something he does well; He works for the team, the badge, the logo, his commitment every time on the field. Maybe that’s important for a team, and maybe that’s why he’s been with the club for so many years.

“He lost very little on the ball. The quality of his pass and the maintenance of the team were phenomenal last season. Then, in moments of transition and recovery, when he comes back and helps the team in the defensive phase, he has such great dedication. And that’s important. “

The criticism he receives from a fan base that is now disenfranchised and generally prone to pessimism is aimed at a player who has done more public relations than any other player on the three big pro teams in Vancouver.

Even a question about what role he plays for the team is easily answered in a combative manner.

“I think I show who I am week after week. I would rather not describe myself; I would rather you paint the picture than who you see Russell Teibert, ”he said during the Zoom presser on Friday.

When urged to elaborate, he expanded it with a deeper explanation.

“In an organization and a team, everyone has their own specific role and I think you have to do your best in your specific role. You can’t try to be someone else, you can’t try to be a different player, and you need all these little roles and all these different ones (role players) to be successful as a team. Because it won’t be a player, there won’t be a moment in the game, it’s all these little things put together that bring you success as a team.

“No matter what role you play, no role is more important than the other. So do your job to the best of your ability and that is all I can ask of everyone on this team. “

jadams@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/TheRealJJAdams

NEXT GAME

Sunday

Vancouver Whitecaps (7-11-0, 8th West) v LA Galaxy (4-9-3, 12th West)

19:30 o’clock, Dignity Health Sports Park. TV: TSN. Radio: TSN 1040 AM

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