As we’ve seen in previous years, every offseason brings a certain amount of turnover for every MLS club – and that’s no different here in Vancouver. Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson has already stated that there could be four or five "exciting additions" prior to the 2015 MLS season. With that in mind, we present you Whitecaps FC Scouting Week. This week, whitecapsfc.com will release a different scouting-related piece of content daily until Friday, December 19. Here's what is out so far:
- Scouting Week Day 1: How Whitecaps FC landed Pedro Morales and Kendall Waston
- Scouting Week Day 2: Tommy and Teitur’s flight in Peru
- Scouting Week Day 3: Finding a gem (infographic)
Today, we talk to Carl Robinson about his recent trip to South America.
VANCOUVER, BC – Will Vancouver Whitecaps FC’s love affair with Latino talent continue in 2015?
Carl Robinson was quick to introduce a Latin flair to his squad when he took over as Whitecaps FC boss late last year. And he and assistant Martyn Pert both went on recent scouting trips in South America with an eye to adding some more.
Robinson talks South America (courtesy of Global)
"We covered a lot of different countries and a lot of different players," Robinson told MLSsoccer.com. "A number of players on the radar, a number of players that we've identified and that have been identified to us and it's going to be an ongoing process in relation to that.”
Vancouver's roster this year featured five South Americans: Sebastian Fernandez, Matias Laba, Nicolas Mezquida, Pedro Morales and Mauro Rosales all played their part in what was a successful season for the Blue and White.
“The South American influence has been massive for us this year,” Robinson admitted. “It's a great market. Will I be playing 11 South American players? No. But if there's a talented player who's got the hunger, the talent, the desire to get better and to make our team better then he will certainly be brought in.”
That hunger and desire is what Robinson feels is the most important ingredient for any player he brings to the club, and it's something that he feels South American players often have in abundance.
“Sometimes the European players coming over have achieved a lot at such a young age,” Robinson explained. “Then coming into Major League Soccer maybe don't feel that they have enough to prove. The South Americans are not like that. They've got everything to prove on a fantastic stage. That's why I think the influence has been really good here this year.”
Despite a 2014 season that saw Whitecaps FC reach the postseason with a club record points total, and clinch their first ever CONCACAF Champions League spot in next year's competition, Robinson is not set to rest on his laurels and wants to build on that success.
With more games already guaranteed next year, Robinson is keen to improve the depth of his squad and is looking to strengthen all areas of the team, and sees South America as the perfect place where he can fill those needs.
“Most South Americans are technically fantastic, you've seen that with us,” Robinson said. “What I've learned from going down to South America is that whatever type of player you want, whether it's big, small, athletic, tricky, quick, goalscorer, you can find anything you want there, but you've got to be willing to do the work.”
“The first weekend I was down [there], I saw six games over the weekend,” he added. “It's important you do your work when you're away.”
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