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Bob Frid/Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Dos Santos continues busy offseason at MLS SuperDraft as 'Caps close in on targets

Marc Dos Santos’ busy offseason continued Friday with his first MLS SuperDraft as a head coach.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC used their lone selection, the 35th overall pick in the second round, to select centre back Brendan McDonough from Georgetown University.

“Brendan is a centre back that has a good margin to progress,” Dos Santos told reporters in Chicago, adding that McDonough can play in a back-three or back-four formation. “He’s a player that caught our eye at the combine and even before.”

McDonough, a 6-foot-2 centre back who led Georgetown to three Big East titles in his four years at the school, is expected to join the ‘Caps in preseason as an unsigned player.

From there, the outcome will determine itself.

“No one can put pressure on kids that come from the draft in my opinion,” Dos Santos said. “It’s players that are still in development, players that come from a different world, a different type of dynamic. The jump from college to MLS is very, very big, but there are surprises in sports. I can’t say this is a player that is going to be a trialist, a player that is going to try to get into the team. We’re happy that we’re going to have him join our club. And let’s see where this story goes.”

Dos Santos said there was “no interest” in trading up in the draft because the focus is on building the roster through other avenues. During the half-day MLS trade window last month, Dos Santos brought in four players to help fill the domestic portion of the roster in goalkeepers Max Crepeau and Zac MacMath, left back/winger Victor “PC” Giro, and midfielder Andy Rose.

Now, he and his staff have turned their efforts to the international market.

“I’ve been in a plane for the past 30 days,” Dos Santos said. “Not only me, the staff, we’re working, we’re scouting. And it’s not only scouting. There’s a huge set of negotiations. The good players belong to clubs. You don’t get them out of their clubs like this. This is not Championship Manager that I’ve played a lot on the computer that you just go get the player. It’s much more than that.”

Dos Santos has maintained that he has very high standards and specific characteristics in mind for the players that will be joining the club. It’s not simply a matter of bringing in good players, but rather the right ones who will fit the model of play and complement those around them.

Almost like a jigsaw puzzle.

There’s a “lot of business” left to be done, Dos Santos said, but he asked fans to “trust in the process” as the ‘Caps close in on their targets for the upcoming transfer window and beyond.

“Today, I feel good in the state where we are,” he said. “Of course, there are some positions we need to be careful about filling, just to be smart about when’s the best window to fill certain positions. Is it January or June? And others we’re moving forward with and moving well. Hopefully we’ll be able to close the final deals and be able to announce some players very, very soon.”