Thursday, March 17, 2011

Whitecaps Announce Four More Signings

 The Whitecaps are rounding out their roster with the signings of four more players to MLS contracts just two days before the opener against TFC.  The additions include 1 domestic player (LM Russell Teibert) and 3 international players (CM Alex Morfaw, CB Michael Boxall and ST Camillo).  The roster now stands at 27 players with Whitecaps having the ability to sign up to three more international players.  With Cornelieus Stewart starting with the PDL and the same for Ridge Mobulu, the Caps have only Mouloud Akloul as the international left unsigned in camp.  Canadian Kevin Harmse is another recent addition and may still be an option for a domestic spot.

UPDATE: According to the Province's Marc Weber Long Tan has a green card and counts as a domestic player for MLS.

The most talked about player in camp Teibert has received rave reviews from many who have watched him play among much more experienced MLS players.  After a brief spell with the TFC academy, Teibert decided to join the Whitecaps residency program in 2008 at the age of sixteen.  In addition to his success with the Whitecaps, Teibert has been named U17 player of the year in both 2008 and 2009.  While he will see the majority of his time on the left side of the midfield, Teibert can also play as a striker if needed.  Although only 18, the academy product is fast, skilled and surprisingly strong enough to make an early impact with the Caps. His opportunity to see playing time is also helped by the fact that other left midfielders have been either inconsistent (Wagner) or injured (Nanchoff) in the preseason.  

Alex Morfaw is a central midfielder who joined the Whitecaps last summer during the transfer window but was hurt minutes into his first training session.  The Cameroon international has been constantly hit with the injury bug which caused him to miss the 2008 Olympics and  a professional contract from a English squad.  It almost cost him a chance with the Whitecaps as he saw little action last season and was late to join the team in preseason.  The organization has been impressed with his play in training and may be patient with him so he can take advantage of his potential.  Morfaw earned his contract by impressing the coaching staff with his technical skills, his speed and endurance levels.

Boxall was considered a late first or early second round pick as he was rated one of best of the second tier central defenders in the draft.  He came over from New Zealand to play in the NCAA with the University of California Santa Barbara where he started 75 of 78 matches he played in over his four seasons and included being named Big West defender of the year.  The Kiwi has represented the national team at the U20 World Cup and at the 2008 Summer Olympics as well as having two senior caps.  He is a natural leader on the pitch and plays a physical style and while not especially fast he shows enough speed to make a contribution in the MLS.  Boxall is a good development option for the team and will get opportunities as a sub or in the reserve league and has recently received a call up from the New Zealand national team.

The Brazilian striker has proven his finishing skills in Europe as he scored 24 goals in 22 appearences in his first and only season in the Maltese League.  After the season he joined a Korean club where he played as a sub and was only given 7 games to prove his himself and was unable to adjust to the league.  After being rumoured to be trialing with TFC at first, Camilo joined the Whitecaps halfway through the preseason and played in a few games during the team’s second trip to Arizona.  In addition to his finishing the 22-year-old striker is good technically and tactically and has above average speed on the pitch.

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