Robinson blowing whistle at training - big jacket
Bob Frid/Vancouver Whitecaps FC

News and notes: 'Caps prepare for Portland

PORTLAND, OR – Vancouver Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson met with the media today in Portland ahead of Wednesday’s preseason match vs. Portland Timbers (kickoff: 7:30 p.m. PT, watch: whitecapsfc.com, listen: TSN 1040 radio). 

See below for a summary:

WELCOME TO THE PROS

The ‘Caps announced today that 18-year-old Matthew Baldisimo and 15-year-old Alphonso Davies have signed their first professional contracts with WFC2, the club’s USL team.

Both players are currently with the first team in Portland.

On Davies, Robinson said:

“When you see a 15-year-old play with a smile on his face and do things you expect senior players to do, it actually brings a bigger smile to your face. We’ll get the chance to watch him play tomorrow.”

And on Baldisimo:

“He deserves it. We see a lot of potential. He’s got a lot of hard work. There are certain things we’re going to adjust with him, but we’re excited to get the opportunity to work with him.”

Robinson added that he sees Baldisimo more of a central midfielder.

TRUE #8?

Speaking of central midfielders, Robinson had this to say about Kianz Froese:

“Kianz is probably the best number eight we have at the club. In relation to an 8 as a box-to-box midfield player like an Aaron Ramsey, the modern day type of player. Deybi Flores can be that, not just a natural six like Matias Laba. Part of the reason we traded Koffie is because I wanted a box-to-box midfield player and Kianz fits in there.”

Last year, Froese was primarily used as a winger. But based on those comments, don’t be surprised to see more of him in central midfield in 2016.

And don’t be surprised to see him there on Wednesday night with Laba and Flores both away.

“I said he needed to get fitter,” Robinson said of Froese. “He’s come back super fit. I think he can get box to box and score goals.”

SO WE MEET AGAIN

Both the ‘Caps and Timbers are expected to field younger lineups on Wednesday, but Robinson said he still expects there will be a little bit of “spice.” There always is between these two teams.

In last year’s preseason meeting at the Simple Invitational, the two teams combined for 43 fouls, eight cautions, and two red cards. The ‘Caps won 1-0 thanks to a goal from former Timbers centre back Pa-Modou Kah.

Insert popcorn eating GIF here. 

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