Pozniak passing through

Team Canada player's with Caps until July 1

Marc Weber

Defender Chris Pozniak isn't here for a long time, but he and the Vancouver Whitecaps hope it's a good time.

It's certainly good timing for all.

Pozniak, 27, who has earned 21 caps for Canada, was waived by Major League Soccer's Chivas USA on May 9.

That left the North York, Ont., resident seeking a high-level home to stay sharp for European opportunities in July. He's previously played in the top Swedish and Norwegian leagues.

The Whitecaps, meanwhile, are in the midst of a busy month and suddenly thin at the back, with injuries to Jeff Clarke (leg) and Takashi Hirano (knee).

Vancouver will also be without central defender Adrian Cann for a time. Today Cann will be named to Canada's roster for friendlies against Brazil in Seattle on May 31 and Panama June 4.

Pozniak played in the 2007 Gold Cup but is not currently in the mix.

Should Cann impress, he would remain with the national team for World Cup qualifiers later in June.

"Especially in lieu of the circumstances, this made a lot of sense," said Caps president Bob Lenarduzzi, who signed the Polish-born Pozniak through July 1. "It solves a problem for us in the shorter term and it's good for him too."

Pozniak, 5-foot-11, 175 pounds, played four games for Chivas before being waived when salary cap issues arose after a trade.

"I was in a bit of shock," he said of his rapid exit. "It was bad timing for me, but I see it as a blessing in disguise now -- that I could get out of the MLS contract and explore something new.

"I'm really happy that I've been given this opportunity."

That he's signed through July 1, inclusive, is no afterthought. Vancouver plays its third of four CONCACAF Champions League qualifiers in Toronto that day.

Pozniak, who started 16 times for Toronto FC in 2007, trained with the Caps last night and could be in the lineup Friday. He said the fact that both he and coach Teitur Thordarson spent considerable time in Norway should help expedite any tactical adjustments.

© The Vancouver Province 2008