VANCOUVER, BC – With MLS First Kick just around the corner, Vancouver Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson chatted with media on Wednesday after the club’s Blue and White intrasquad match about a variety of different topics.
See below for a summary of what was discussed:
On the intrasquad match:
It was good. The boys enjoyed it and I think they worked hard. The mentality was good because it’s never easy playing a practice match, but they got out of it what I wanted them to get. Obviously, it was a little bit too much energy at times but I’d never take that away from any of them.
On Omar Salgado’s play:
He was great watching him today. He had his arms swinging everywhere and things like that. He’s a character to watch. He had four chances. He did great in Victoria the other day, setting up the goal. But he’s getting fitter. I think everyone knows that he has the ability. I certainly know he has very, very good ability. It’s about transferring that into training and into games and obviously in the MLS level, which I’m sure he can.
On the team’s fitness level:
It’s getting better. I think we will be good come the first game of the season. I have no doubt about that, but I’ll keep pushing and pushing during the season. You have to be at the top levels of fitness to perform at the highest level every day and every week and I’ll make sure that we are.
On Christian Dean’s “truculence:”
He’s a man mountain out there isn’t he? He really is. He’s big, he’s strong, he’s athletic and he’s trying to upset Omar in every tackle and he does. His recovery runs are great and I think he’s been phenomenal in preseason. It’s not a pleasant surprise because I knew he could get there, but he’s challenging the centre backs for a place in the starting lineup.
On Christian Dean’s competitive edge:
I want all my players to have an edge about them, especially the young players. When we scout and recruit our young players, it’s important that they do have a little bit. We have players who have that. If you don’t have that then it’s going be difficult for you to crack into the team. Christian is one of a number guys who have that competitive edge.
On Bryce Alderson’s play after spending last season on loan with Charleston Battery:
It was a learning year for him last year. Obviously going out on loan was an eye opener for him. He’s come back, he’s refreshed, he’s hungry, and he’s fit. I think you saw today for the first hour he was probably the best player on the park. Something’s worked in the offseason. We’ll continue to push Bryce because he has chances moving forward with me and with this team this season.
On Marco Carducci’s performance in the second half:
He was great. Obviously, he made some fantastic saves. He made the wrong decision to come out for the penalty, but he made up for it with a fantastic penalty save. I have no doubts that Marco is going to be a top keeper and part of his development is training with the first team.
On taking the train to Portland for the Rose City Invitational:
With the train at least we can get up and walk around. I think we have about 45 players and staff on the train and if we had a bus it would have been a 46 or 56-seater. We wouldn’t have much room and the players wouldn’t have been able to stretch out. It is a team bonding thing. They can play cards, listen to music, or sleep.
On the personality Andre Lewis showed after his goal:
I would never take that away from any young player. It’s important they come out of their shells. I think he responded to the crowd, the crowd responded to him and he showed what a proper flip is supposed to be like. On Sunday, it was nothing short of shocking, but I don’t mind if he does more flips because that means he’s scoring more goals. I’ll take that all day.
On Lewis’ progression in preseason:
I think he’s a talented footballer. I’ve said from day one that he has ability. The game is easy to him. He’s a natural football player and the team that I’m trying to rebuild here is a natural football team. He fits into that. He’s still young, he still has a lot to learn and it’s important that we give him opportunities. If he continues going the way he’s going, he’ll have a big future.
On Kenny Miller’s status:
It’s a great sign when any player wants to stay with the club. Kenny’s working his way to fitness at the moment and he’s got four, five months left on his deal. Kenny has to get on the team, come in and score goals and if he does then we’ll reassess that in June, July.
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