VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC returned to training on Tuesday at UBC following a 3-1 win over San Jose Earthquakes – and ahead of back-to-back matches with Seattle Sounders FC. Here are some news and notes from the day.
BUSY MONTH AHEAD
Buckle up: it’s going to be a busy month of August for Whitecaps FC.
The ‘Caps will play a total of eight matches in three different competitions in August, starting this Saturday against Seattle (7 p.m. PT on TSN1).
“We don’t complain about it, we deal with it,” Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson told reporters. “Rotation of the squad will be paramount for us. And more young players will be given chances. It really is a great challenge for us these next eight games. Who knows the outcome? In five weeks I’ll be standing here and I’ll either have a big smile on my face or I won’t.”
So between MLS regular season play, the Amway Canadian Championship, and the CONCACAF Champions League, what’s the priority for the ‘Caps this month?
“Every game is a priority,” said left back Jordan Harvey. “In terms of the [CCL], that’s massive. First time for this club. We’re really looking forward to that. Then, in terms of regular season, we want to fight for that top spot and keep it going. Every game is massive. I know that gets redundant but it’s true.”
“Immaculate person, immaculate player.”
That’s how Robinson described Mauro Rosales on Tuesday after the Argentine contributed a goal and an assist in Sunday’s victory over the Quakes.
Unfortunately for Robinson and the ‘Caps, however, it appears that Rosales will not be in the equation this weekend due to a groin injury sustained in that match against San Jose. Rosales didn’t train on Tuesday and Robinson said he wasn’t sure the extent of his injury, but that he’d likely be out “one or two weeks minimum.”
“I was really annoyed,” Robinson told reporters after training. “The thought of not having Mauro this weekend is a tough one to take because it’s his old club and I’m disappointed for him because his levels have been so high this year.”
In other lineup news, Robinson confirmed that striker Darren Mattocks will be available this weekend after scoring for Jamaica in both the Gold Cup final and semifinal. He also said left back Sam Adekugbe (ankle) is “without a doubt” in contention for the upcoming matches against Seattle.
And here’s what Robinson had to say on Pedro Morales, who played 22 minutes on Sunday in his first game back from injury.
“I’ve got a guideline on Pedro. I’m sure if you speak to Pedro, he’ll tell you he’s ready to go. I’ll look after him because we’ve got a number of games coming up … he’s getting himself back to where we want him, but we’ve got to keep him fit. There’s no point throwing him into a game where he gets injured again. I wouldn’t be doing my job correctly. We’ll keep him ready and use him when we think it’s right.”
It wouldn’t have been a Robinson media availability without the coach being asked about the status of a potential new acquisition. Last week, Robinson said he was getting closer to making a new signing. Today, he said: “It’s gone the other way, but it will probably change again tomorrow.”
So will Robinson be disappointed if he’s not able to get something done before the transfer window closes on August 6?
“We’ve had a very good start to the year,” Robinson said. “We’re building. We’ve got the youngest group in Major League Soccer and we’re exciting to watch. Of course, we can be better in certain areas. Do I want to add to the squad? I’m constantly looking to try and add to this group to make us better. If I feel it’s right, we will.”
“I want to bring players in,” he continued. “I’ve shown that. In January, I brought a number of players in. Next January, there will be more players coming in that we know are available to us. At this moment, with the introduction of the TAM money, sometimes people make knee-jerk reactions. We won’t do that. I won’t do that.”
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