VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson and vice president of soccer operations Greg Anderson provided a midseason update to Season Ticket Holders last week after Whitecaps FC’s 2-2 draw with FC Dallas.
The event was an exclusive opportunity for the highest Loyalty point earners to ask Robinson and Anderson a wide-array of questions about the current state of the team.
See below for a summary of what was discussed.
On the possibility of bringing back Camilo or acquiring a big-name Designated Player:
Greg Anderson: “We have no plans of bringing Camilo back. The Mexican team has new owners and they’re keeping all their players, so no he will not be coming back. The other question about big name Designated Players, I don't think you are going to see those kind of massive signings from our club. We’re looking to build our own talent and add important Designated Players around those players and focus on developing players from our Residency program and from the draft. We feel we can be very competitive and compete for championships with that kind of model.”
On the likelihood of signing a new player during the transfer window:
Greg Anderson: “The transfer window closes on August 6, so that’s for players that are currently under contract. We have a number of players that we’re looking at. If it’s the right fit and the right player and the right time, then we will make a move. But it has to be right. Once the transfer window closes on the sixth, we still have the ability to bring in players that are out of contract and we can still make trades within the league. So even when the window closes, that doesn’t mean we can’t bring in any players. We’re looking at all of our options.”
On potentially acquiring a new striker:
Carl Robinson: “We’re always looking for good players. If you look at the way we play, with one up front and Pedro having the freedom to go and play where he wants, then it’s important the wide guys get into the areas where they’re able to score goals as well. We’re constantly looking but as mentioned, it has to be the right fit, it has to be the right number, character-wise the references need to be right. If you look at the two Designated Players that we brought in, Pedro Morales and Matias Laba, not only are they a joy to watch, they’re a joy to work with. It’s important that if we decide to go that way with a forward or a centre back, then he has to fit into the culture that I’m trying to develop at this club.”
On Christian Dean’s chances of cracking the starting lineup:
Carl Robinson: “Christian is very, very close to playing. Even when Jay was fit, Christian was very, very close to playing. He’s different to what we have. He’s big, he’s quick, the only thing he lacks is experience. I speak to Christian on a regular basis and I know the only way he’s going to get experience is from playing. The problem I have at the moment is to put young players in the right environment, they have to have the right partnerships. The centre back unit is a key component of any team. The partnership has to be right. If you look at Johnny Leveron, he’s left-sided and the majority of work he does is with his left foot. If I put him with Christian, then we’d be very unbalanced and I wouldn’t be giving him the best possible opportunity. But he’ll be getting a chance very soon, maybe a little quicker now that Jay has decided to hang up his boots. And I’m sure when he comes in, he’ll do very well.”
On the role of the proposed USL PRO team:
Carl Robinson: “I think it’s a vitally important role. If you look at the Residency players that we have, there’s been a gap for them. Young players develop at different times and at different stages, so it’s important you give them the right path and give them as many opportunities as you can. It’s a massive step for the club. Some players will jump from Residency into the first team and other players won’t, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not as good as the other players. This now will create that middle ground where the kids can play good USL PRO teams with competitive rivals.”
On Darren Mattocks’ attitude these days:
Carl Robinson: “I think if you saw the way Darren played [on Sunday], scoring his goal and his all-around work ethic shows you the frame of mind he’s in. Can Darren Mattocks score more goals? One hundred per cent he can. He puts himself in some good areas where he probably should take more chances, but he’s on the training field every day working on those types of situations. As long as the young players have that mentality, then I’ll stick by them.”
It’s not too late to participate in the best sporting experience in Vancouver. Whitecaps FC offer a flexible range of ticket products, including prorated season tickets, 5-packs, student season tickets, and a youth soccer half-season ticket. Single-match tickets start at $22, subject to applicable fees. For more information on all Whitecaps FC ticket options, call 604.669.9283 ext. 2 or visit whitecapsfc.com/tickets.