The Vancouver Whitecaps have increased the Canadian content on their roster with the signing of MLS veteran Kevin Harmse. The signing was announced a day before the team’s first road game in Philadelphia where the Caps are thin at CB with the international call ups of Jay DeMerit and Micheal Boxall. With last week’s starters not available, the Whitecaps were looking at possibly starting either Bilall Duckett or Jeb Brovsky alongside Greg Janicki. It was a scary scenario as both Duckett and Brovsky are rookies who haven’t played the position regularly and Janicki is coming off an injury that made him miss last week’s opener. Of course if Harmse does get the start it will be his first MLS action since June 2009 when he played for Toronto FC.
|Harmse in 05|
The Canadian international is returning to MLS after almost a two year absence from competitive football. Harmse’s injury seems to be fully healed as he recently played a full 90 minutes against the Earthquakes in a reserve game. The South African born footballer is a physical enforcer who not only can play at centre half but can also fill in as a holding midfielder and as a fullback. That versatility is something every team is looking for especially a first year team that is short on MLS experience. Once his match fitness is confirmed Harmse should slot in as first option off the bench for the centre half position behind DeMerit and Janicki and ahead of Boxall and Duckett.
The Whitecaps roster now stands at 28 with 21 players counting as domestic and 7 players counting as international. With the addition of Harmse there are now 5 players on the roster that count as Canadian player (Rochat of course being born in Canada but counts as a Swiss international). With the ability to sign up to 3 more international players and only two spots available there is a question about which domestic player gets released if they fill their full international spots. That is a question that most likely answered by April 15 or in the summer when they will complete their roster during the summer transfer window.