Whitecaps FC completed another exciting addition on Thursday with the acquisition of 19-year-old attacking midfielder Pedro Vite.
With the transfer completed, Whitecaps FC director of recruitment Nikos Overheul talked with whitecapsfc.com to share what supporters can expect from the Ecuadorian.
What are the qualities that you like in Pedro Vite?
Pedro Vite shows great vision and creativity in his passing. His sense of space in the final third is at a very high level too. Pedro is constantly finding pockets to receive the ball and has the ability to do positive things with it when he gets it. Vite is constantly moving, making runs into the box too and we really like that dynamic element of his game. Of course, at age 19 he is far from the finished product and there's a lot of room for growth, but he is already capable of doing some special things. Positionally, Pedro can play in the middle or on the wing and that level of flexibility is very useful in our squad as well.
Vite has played fewer than 1500 minutes of first team football. What made you confident enough to sign him regardless?
Pedro Vite has a fairly extensive record in youth football. He did really well with Ecuador U-17 and qualified for the U-17 World Cup with them. At Independiente del Valle Pedro won the U-20 Copa Libertadores too and was in fact one of the main drivers of that success. Now, good performances at youth level don't always translate. Many players look good in younger age groups and do very little in senior football. Vite, however, immediately showed the exact same qualities in IDV's first team. And not just in the Ecuadorian league, but also in the Copa Libertadores against some of the best teams on the continent. It's not just potential, he contributed straight away.
Whitecaps FC have a very young squad. How does Vite fit there?
We are very happy that we have a lot of young players who have already shown they can contribute in this league. We want to be a young team and we want to get talent from all avenues, whether it's transfers, the academy or the MLS SuperDraft. It's an explicit part of our strategy that we want to build a young core and have them grow together. The development that players like Michael Baldisimo and Ranko Veselinovic are showing in year 2 is a good example of this strategy is beginning to bear fruit.
Vite is another example of this strategy. He has special skills, but still has a lot of room to improve. Everyone at the club is aware that it will take time for Pedro to adjust to the league. He is 19 years old, 18 months younger than Deiber Caicedo was when we signed him. We are going to be very patient with Pedro Vite, because we believe in his talent and our staff's ability to unlock it. This is going to take some time however. Like with all of our younger players, we expect Pedro to help a little now and help a lot in the future.