VANCOUVER, BC - Vancouver Whitecaps FC returned to training on Tuesday ahead of this weekend's tilt with Minnesota United FC (Saturday at 5 p.m. PT on TSN and tsnvancouver.ca).
Here are some news and notes from the day.
REYNA WON’T BE RUSHED
After suffering a fractured foot in a February preseason match against Portland, Yordy Reyna is back to full training. Just don’t expect him to make his debut just yet.
“It’s good to have him on the training field,” Robinson said. “It’s like having a new player. Obviously it’s been a long, long time since preseason in Portland when he injured his foot. He’s got quality, but he’s still nowhere near the fitness levels we need. He’s still a couple of weeks away from that.”
Whitecaps FC acquired Reyna with the use of Targeted Allocation Money at the beginning of the season. The Peruvian attacking midfielder/striker has been billed by Robinson as “an exciting young talent” who is fast, clever, and direct with the ball. And he’s someone who can play any of the front four positions, which will give Robinson some more flexibility in his attack.
“Maybe in a week or two we can slowly bring him in off the bench and things like that,” Robinson said. “With our situation at the moment, it will help. But I’m not expecting him to play 60 minutes or 90 minutes for the next month or so.”
The rest of Vancouver’s injured players, including Christian Bolaños, Christian Dean, Erik Hurtado, Brett Levis, Nicolas Mezquida, and Kendall Waston, all worked on the side to varying degrees on Tuesday.
LOANS ON HOLD
A few weeks back, Robinson told reporters that he was hoping to loan out a few players to aid their development with more meaningful minutes. That is still the plan, he said on Tuesday, but the team’s injury woes and impending Gold Cup call-ups have made things a bit more “tricky.”
“I need to get a little bit healthier before that happens,” he said. “We’ve got one or two things lined up but they’re on hold at the moment. If we can just get through the next two or three weeks, then by the time the window opens hopefully there will be some movement for the benefit of them as well.”
There was a new face on the pitch Tuesday – and he had some wheels.
Dieudonne Gbakle, a speedy 21-year-old attacking midfielder who represented Mali at the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup, will be training with the team until June 29.
“There will be a couple of trialists coming over the next three, four, five weeks, with the transfer window coming, which we’ll have a look at in certain positions,” Robinson said. “I’m sure you’ll be asking me a lot of questions about a lot of players over the next couple of weeks.”
Major League Soccer’s secondary transfer window will be open from July 10 to August 9.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
After four straight MLS matches at home, the ‘Caps are now off to Minneapolis for a first-ever meeting with expansion side Minnesota United FC this Saturday (5 p.m. PT on TSN and tsnvancouver.ca) before visiting the new-look Chicago Fire, featuring FIFA World Cup and UEFA Champions League winner Bastian Schweinsteiger, the following weekend.
Then, after a midweek affair with New York City FC on July 5 at BC Place, MLS will break for the group stage of the CONCACAF Gold Cup from July 7 through July 17.
“It’s important now the next three games especially, we just keep our heads down and we try and fight and scrap for everything we can,” Robinson said. “And hopefully we can come out of that break a little bit more healthy.”