Malaysian League stars James and Huggins will join squad
The Vancouver Whitecaps just became the adopted soccer team of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
Sources confirmed the Whitecaps will announce today the signing of forward Marlon Alex James, 31, and central defender Cornelius Bernard Huggins, 34, who have been playing together for Kedah FA in the Malaysian League.
They join another international from the island nation of 120,000: defender Wesley Charles, who signed with the Whitecaps in early July.
The USL-1 roster freeze is today, and the Whitecaps, who have also signed backup goalie Tyler Baldock of Surrey, will have to send players down to their Premier Development League side to trim down to the league cap of 26.
Whitecaps head coach Teitur Thordarson acknowledged at Tuesday's practice that his squad would be growing, though he spoke in generalities. He said he expected the additions to be "impact players."
"You never know until they are there," he said, "but the players we are working on, they have experience from a high level."
Their credentials suggest they'll bring more, but at worst, these signings add depth. While things are looking up on the injury front -- midfielder Justin Moose returns tonight -- both forward/midfielder Nicholas Addlery and central defender Omar Jarun are sitting on seven yellow cards. One more means an automatic two-game ban.
James, a 6-foot-2 former sprinter, was a prolific scorer in Malaysia, tallying 113 times in 134 games. He helped Kedah to the Malaysian FA Cup, Malaysian Super League and Malaysia Cup the past two seasons, earning most valuable foreign player both times.
James told ESPN at the end of July that he wanted to leave Kedah to play in MLS because the Malaysian Football Association no longer wanted foreign players.
James, who played with Charles for Bray Wanderers of the Irish league from 2001 to 2003, said he had an offer from San Jose, which obviously didn't materialize.
He should add punch to an attack that has relied heavily on Eduardo Sebrango's 10 goals.
Huggins, 6-foot-1, is the most-capped defender from SVG with 135 appearances, and, like Charles, is regarded as a big, physical defender.
© The Vancouver Province 2008