News and notes: Robinson meets with the media after Tuesday's roster moves

VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson met with the media on Tuesday at the Official Whitecaps FC Store in Gastown after the club announced that it has exercised the 2016 contract options on 10 players and declined six.

See below for a summary of what was discussed:

On the players whose options were declined:

“We’re still in negotiations with some of them. Obviously, we’re in a salary cap world as we all know. Sometimes, decisions need to be made based upon that, and with one or two of them they are. But we’re still trying to bring one or two of them back.”

On Steven Beitashour:

“We’ll continue to talk to Steven. Obviously, he’s been a big piece for us this year. We know that. We’d like to do everything we can to keep him … Steven likes it here. We like Steven here. In a salary cap league, sometimes you’re able as a different club to take advantage of a high cap number, so we’ll have to wait and see. But we’ll do everything we can to try and bring him back.”

On David Ousted:

“We’re always talking. We have a very good relationship. David will be back next year. I’d like to keep a lot of my players for four or five years. He’s one that we’ve spoken to over the last four or five months to try and keep him here longer. We’re continuing to talk, but as I said, David will be here next year.”

On whether the club has identified its offseason targets:

“I know which guys I’d like to try and bring in. Obviously, there’s always one or two that pop up out of the woodwork when the transfer window opens. I will be travelling. I’ve just come back from a scouting trip now. I’ll probably have a week here trying to sort out all the Re-Entry stuff and then I’ll go again. My coaches are travelling as well. We’ll continuously look at players and try to make this squad better.”

On the thought process on the players whose options were picked up:

“There are a number of thought processes that go into any decision you make. Will every player that I picked up their option be here next year? There’s no guarantee. Whether it’s high numbers, low numbers, whether it’s assets within the league, it will be based upon decisions like that.”

On Erik Hurtado and Darren Mattocks:

“Erik went away to Norway to get some experience. If you backtrack a year ago, Erik finished the season as my number one striker. You don’t turn into a bad player overnight. I’ve still got full faith in Erik and his number is very reasonable. That was pretty simple. Darren has been a big part of this club for four years. Does he want more regular minutes? Yeah, maybe. But I’ll work with Darren in relation to that because I have a very good relationship with him … we picked his option up and we’ll see where we go next year with Darren and one or two other players.”

On the centre back situation:

“I want to give young players chances. Part of the reason why I decided not to pick up the option on Diego Rodriguez is because Diego was brought in last year to be a starter. I still believe Diego will go on to be a top, top player but Timmy and Christian have both jumped above him. When they do that, then I won’t block pathways. I don’t want to block Tim and Christian’s pathway next year. If I start the season next year with three or four centre backs, no problem. I’ll do that, knowing that my recruitment is not too bad either.”

On Waston and Harvey being the only returning defensive starters at this point:

“Timmy’s a starter. I think he showed that towards the end of the year. And I think Christian has become a lot better player in the last two months. I’ve got full faith in Christian and hopefully Pa will be back as well. So we’ll be fine.”

On the loans of Deybi Flores and Cristian Techera:

“We’re trying to bring both players back. Cristian I think showed last year what we can do in relation to goals and assists and he’s exciting to watch. Cristian’s family will hopefully come back with him as well, which might make him more comfortable. He’s a big player for this club and we’ll do everything we can to bring him back. Deybi Flores showed his potential. He made a lot of mistakes as we know, but he’s a great young player and he’ll be better for it if we can agree on a deal to bring him back, because the numbers are reasonable.”

On the goalkeeper situation now that Tornaghi is gone:

“It’ll be given to Marco [Carducci] and Spencer [Richey]. I’ll give them the opportunity to fight for the number two position. Paolo wanted to go and try to be a number one somewhere. I respected Paolo because he’s a great lad and I’ve got the utmost respect for him. So the two young kids will get a chance, which is good for them.”

On Kah and Rosales leaving a leadership void if they don’t return:

“If we can’t agree with them, then I won’t be signing two 18 or 19-year-old guys. I’ll probably be signing 26 to 30-year-olds, which is the key area we’re probably missing in this team. We’ve got fantastic young players and some really, really good veteran guys in their mid-30s. We don’t have those mid-range players so that’s an area we’re always looking at.”

On whether or not to expect a big name signing this offseason:

“We’ve got our three Designated Players with Octavio, Mati, and Pedro. There’s never any rash decisions made by the football club or me. I know what the model is at this football club. My job is to recruit, develop and coach young players. That won’t change. Will we be looking for one in the offseason? Probably not, no. But we’ll be looking for players to add … we’re not far away. We finished third in the whole league. But we know we are a little bit away because we’re not in the MLS Cup Final.”

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