Since taking over as Vancouver Whitecaps FC head coach on November 7, Marc Dos Santos has been working “day and night” at building his roster for 2019.
And on Sunday, December 9, the MLS offseason officially begins with a half-day trade window, kicking off a busy two weeks that will also include the 2018 MLS Expansion Draft, the opening of Free Agency, the MLS Waiver Draft, and the MLS Re-Entry Process – followed by the opening of the primary MLS Transfer Window in February.
This week on whitecapsfc.com, Dos Santos is discussing the qualities he’s looking for in each position, which are all guided by the model of play he’s hoping to establish in Vancouver.
Today, Dos Santos discusses the forwards.
Any coach in the world will tell you that, first and foremost, they want their forwards to score goals.
Marc Dos Santos is no different, but he also knows that there are many ways a forward can contribute to a team’s success. And the new ‘Caps head coach has certain characteristics in mind that he feels will complement the roster and model of play he’s building in Vancouver.
“Out of our forwards, we’re not looking for only the traditional number nine that is a target,” Dos Santos said. “We’re actually looking for one that can constantly look for space in behind the opponent. He can help you link the play, but can also look for balls in behind.”
Another characteristic that Dos Santos expects in all his players, including his forwards, is the willingness to put in the effort when he doesn’t have the ball. Often times, forwards are the first players who have an opportunity to win the ball back in the loss of possession.
They’re the first line of defence – and they need to be committed to that side of the game.
Scoring goals doesn’t hurt, either.
“Of course, we all want that forward that finishes every action,” he said. “We’re aware of that. It doesn’t exist all the time, but one that has a good ratio and percentage of finishing the actions.”