Barry Robson is ready if called upon.
That was the message from Vancouver’s newest signing on Monday ahead of the 'Caps match against Colorado Rapids on Wednesday (6:30 p.m. PT, watch LIVE online), the first in which the Scottish midfielder will be available for selection.
“I’ve been here a couple of weeks and I’m here to play,” Robson told MLSsoccer.com at Burnaby Lake Sports Complex on Monday. “That’s the manager’s decision. If he wants me to play from the start, he wants me to play from the start. The team have been going really well - unfortunate to lose their last game [against LA Galaxy 3-0].
“It’s not easy to get in the team at the moment, because they had four really good results before that, so I have to bide my time. If it’s not Wednesday, hopefully it will be Saturday.”
While Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie wasn’t willing to say one way or the other as to whether Robson will start, the club’s newest Designated Player will see at least a little time on the pitch by the sounds of it.
“He’ll be involved,” Rennie said. “Whether he starts or not we’re still not 100 per cent sure, but he looked really good today and he has looked very good in training. His fitness is good. He understands the game well and he knows the time will come where he’s starting or making a contribution for us off the bench, but I think he’s very close to being ready to start.”
Robson admits he doesn’t know much about the Rapids, but is aware of the tough conditions teams playing in Denver must endure.
“I know that it’s hot, that it’s humid and that it’s high,” Robson said. “That’s what I’ve been told. We’ll wait and see how it is. It’s a learning curve for me as well. It’s going to be a tough game, but I’m looking forward to it, so fingers crossed, we can win the game.”
And speaking of tough conditions, Robson already seems to be upping the standards in practice, notably giving firm advice to Bryce Alderson and Carlyle Mitchell among others during a training match on Monday.
“He knows the game well and he demands very high standards,” Rennie said. “We need a little bit more of that and I’m glad he’s bringing that already.”
Martin MacMahon covers Vancouver Whitecaps FC for MLSsoccer.com.