VANCOUVER, BC – New Vancouver Whitecaps FC centre back Roberto Domínguez trained with the team for the first time on Tuesday as the ‘Caps began preparations for Saturday’s match at San Jose Earthquakes (7 p.m. PT on TSN2 and 1410 AM).
“We’re happy to have him on board,” said Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson, who described Domínguez as a player who is very calm on the ball. “He’s different to what we’ve got.”
With José Aja (left quad) still sidelined, and fellow centre back Doneil Henry (right hand fracture) having undergone surgery on Monday, Robinson said it was important to bring another centre back into the fold for the run-in.
“The first impression of Jose was he was going to be out for six to eight weeks,” Robinson said. “Doneil is still in his first year after not playing for two years. And when we play so many games in a short period of time, that would literally leave us down to two [centre backs] … We just didn’t want to leave ourselves bare with no cover.”
Domínguez, 21, joins Whitecaps FC after 136 appearances in the Salvadoran Primera División with Juventud Independiente and Santa Tecla. He also has 15 caps with El Salvador.
The ‘Caps have kept tabs on Domínguez for a while and initially tried to sign him after his week-long trial with the club in June, before eventually getting the deal over the line last week.
Robinson said it will likely take Domínguez “a week or two to get up to speed” from a fitness perspective, adding that Henry is “touch and go for the weekend."
The 'Caps currently sit three points out of a playoff spot with nine matches remaining. They are unbeaten in four matches in MLS play, having scored 10 goals during that span.