Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Whitecaps Sign Three For The Future

The Whitecaps announced the addition of three domestic players to the roster with the signings of draft picks Jeb Brovsky, Bilal Duckett and academy product Brian Sylvestre.  While Sylvestre is considered a homegrown product and doesn't count against the salary cap, the other two are eligible to count as developmental players under 25 years old and may not count against the cap.  The signings bring the Whitecaps roster to 23 with 18 players counting as domestic and 5 international players.  The Whitecaps can only sign up to 5 more international players and while according to roster rules there is no limit on the domestic side, there are only two domestic footballers in camp (Teibert and Harmse).  Contract details were not announced by the team.

The Notre Dame product was signed because of his versatility to play multiple positions in the field which is aslways a bonus in the MLS.  Because he is two footed, Brovsky can anywhere along the backline as well as anywhere in the midfield and in his college days has also spent some time playing up front.   However look for the first pick of the second round to establish his career playing in the center midfield backing up veterans Dunfield and Thorrington.  While not the most offensively gifted, Brovsky has a good all-around technical skillset and has shown a physical side that will help him succeed in MLS.

After being drafted in the third round, Duckett has spent most the preseason at center half and left back even though the majority of his starts at Notre Dame were on the right side.  Another reason for the switch was because of Duckett being behind Wesly Knight and Johnathan Leathers at his natural position.  The Whitecaps coaches have been impressed with the Big East academic all-star’s size, strength, athleticism and defensive awareness.  Duckett will need time to learn the new positions and he will get the time, unless there is an injury, in the reserve league.

Sylvestre came out of nowhere during the winter training session as his name popped up on twitter by a Whitecap teammate who announced he was part of the team.  Once last year’s backup, Simon Thomas, was released after that session it was clear that the Whitecaps had decided to keep Sylvestre as their third goalkeeper on the roster behind Joe Cannon and Jay Nolly.  A native of Florida, he gave up on a chance to earn a scholarship to major college to play defensive end in throwball.  The US U20 team member and homegrown signing has shown above average athleticism and enough instincts that the Caps feel they can trust Sylvestre to be their goalie of the future.  Expect to see him to be the starting goalkeeper in the MLS reserve league unless there is an injury on the main squad.

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