Marinovic - New Zealand

VANCOUVER, BC – Carl Robinson said he wants “competition for places all over the field.” And with Friday’s addition of Stefan Marinovic, he’s certainly got it at the goalkeeping position.

“We know we have David Ousted, who’s our number one, and Spencer Richey and Sean Melvin who are two up-and-coming young goalkeepers,” Robinson said. “We needed to find someone who was able to compete with David and bring on the young ones as well and Stefan certainly fits that bill.”

Marinovic, 25, is a New Zealand international who – in the words of Robinson – has “all the attributes you want in a goalkeeper.” He’s big. He’s strong. He’s agile.

And perhaps most importantly, Robinson said “he’s a winner.”

“He doesn’t like losing. I think all keepers are crazy. And they need to be crazy. In a good way.”

There’s also the fact that, despite being just 25 years of age, Marinovic has already played 100 games at the professional level in Germany – not to mention 19 international appearances with the Kiwis. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound keeper, for example, played in all three of New Zealand’s matches at the recent FIFA Confederations Cup, as well as all nine of their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

Robinson said Marinovic’s performance at the Confederations Cup “put him in the limelight,” which is why Whitecaps FC had to act quickly. And the timing worked out well with the club recently parting ways with Paolo Tornaghi, who wanted to explore opportunities in his native Italy.

“Teams in England, teams all over were chasing him,” Robinson said of Marinovic. “Obviously, (Whitecaps FC goalkeeper coach) Stewart Kerr has analyzed him at great length over the last month or so, knowing that Paolo was probably going to leave.”

Robinson also received positive reviews on Marinovic from New Zealand’s U-20 head coach Darren Bazeley, a former teammate of Robinson’s at Wolverhampton Wanderers, and West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper coach Jonathan Gould – son of former Welsh manager Bobby Gould.

Marinovic joins Ousted and Richey as the three keepers on Vancouver’s MLS roster. When asked about Richey, Robinson said the youngster is still a “massive part” of his plans moving forward. All MLS teams must carry three goalkeepers on their roster so Whitecaps FC needed to sign another one after Tornaghi’s departure. 

And they clearly liked what they saw in Marinovic.