VANCOUVER, BC – Carl Robinson didn’t have to think twice when asked to describe Yordy Reyna, who Vancouver Whitecaps FC acquired on Monday using Targeted Allocation Money.
“He’s an exciting young talent,” Robinson told whitecapsfc.com.
Reyna, 23, is a Peruvian international who most recently spent three seasons in the Austrian Bundesliga as a member of FC Red Bull Salzburg after beginning his career with Alianza Lima of the Peruvian Primera División. The 5-foot-7 attacking midfielder/forward is fast, clever, and “very direct with the ball,” according to Robinson.
In other words, he’s not afraid to take on opposing defenders.
That, it seems, would be Reyna’s most lethal quality, though Robinson said he’s also able to make the final pass and score some goals – as he did 14 times in the Austrian Bundesliga.
“He’s got all the attributes you want,” Robinson said.
Now, the ‘Caps hope he can put them all together.
There’s certainly no denying his natural ability, and he “works his socks off” to boot, according to Robinson.
“When he plays regularly and plays with confidence, he scores a number of goals,” added Robinson.
Here are a few examples of what Reyna is capable of when he’s on his game.
In both instances, Reyna started the play from a deep position in central midfield, which provides some insight into where he may be most dangerous. He has spent some time as a centre forward and a winger in the past, playing off the shoulder off defenders and using his pace down the channels, but it would appear he’s best suited as secondary striker/advanced midfielder who can play alongside or underneath a partner.
“He’s flexible in the front four positions,” Robinson said.
Wherever he plays, Reyna joins an exciting young crop of attacking players in Vancouver, including the likeminded Kekuta Manneh and Alphonso Davies – two of the brightest young talents in Major League Soccer.
Imagine having those three on the pitch at the same time.
When you add in the likes of Giles Barnes and Erik Hurtado, who both have no shortage of pace themselves, it’s easy to see how this team is starting to shape up. And it’s not unlike the team we saw two years ago when Whitecaps FC finished second in the Western Conference – a team that was built on a strong defensive foundation coupled with a potent counter-attack.
The addition of Reyna is an important one for Whitecaps FC, but Robinson said that there are still a “number of things to consider” as he continues to build the roster.
“We’re always looking to strengthen,” he said. “However we do it, whether we decide to go and get a #9, or whether decide to bring in a secondary striker and play Kekuta up top or whatever, we’ll look at. But it all depends on numbers.”
In the meantime, Whitecaps FC depart for Wales later today to officially kick off their preseason schedule, which will include matches against English Football League Championship sides Bristol City FC and Cardiff City FC and League One outfit Oxford United FC.
Reyna is expected to join the team in Wales upon receipt of his UK visa.