Looking to add more depth to their backline and improve their play in their own end the Vancouver Whitecaps made their first in season transaction acquiring Jordan Harvey from the Philadelphia Union. In exchange for the American defender the Whitecaps sent an undisclosed amount of allocation money to the Eastern club. Harvey is set to join the team in Colorado and will be eligible to play immediately for the Caps whether he starts or is on the bench.
After his senior season at UCLA, Harvey was drafted by the Colorado Rapids in the 1st round of the 2006 Supplemental Draft after being bypassed through four rounds of the Super Draft. It wasn’t until the 2008 season when Harvey became a full time starter with the Rapids as he made 42 starts on the backline with 29 of them coming in 2009. Four years into his professional career, the Union made Harvey their first selection in the 2010 expansion draft.
Harvey is known for tackling ability and positioning and with his pace has the ability to push forward on the attack. Harvey has also been durable as he has rarely missed a start due to injury and does not get suspended regularly having picked up his first red card in his career this year. However, he is on four yellow cards and the next caution will earn him his only second suspension of his six year professional career.
What the Whitecaps get in Harvey is a proven MLS starter, who comes at a reasonable salary and will count as a domestic player. Another important factor that Harvey brings to the Caps is experience of the growing pains of going through a tough expansion season and then what it took to turn it around the next season. While he, along with the entire backline, struggled last year Harvey was part of one of the stingiest defences in MLS this year
No one outside the organizations is aware of how much allocation money was sent and how much they have. However the Caps received additional allocation due to being an expansion team and then acquired more at the expansion draft in two separate deals with Chivas USA and Seattle. The amount the Whitecaps sent to Philadelphia may have been money that was unused allocation that was set aside for this type of acquisition.
He gives the club the freedom to keep Alain Rochat in the center of the backline while Jay DeMerit recovers from injury. There is even a chance that Rochat could partner with DeMerit once the captain returns to starting eleven. Harvey is versatile enough that he could even slide over to the right side if the need arises in an emergency.
With Rochat moving to the middle of the pitch on more of a regular basis, the need for acquiring a starting center back has lessened. However the Whitecaps would still be wise to get a decent backup for the position in case injuries remain an issue for DeMerit. As I wrote earlier this week, I felt the Whitecaps need to acquire a central midfielder, a center back, a winger and a fullback in the upcoming transfer window. The acquisition of Harvey resolves one of those needs and they still have the full complement of three international spots to fill those needs.