Friday, July 15, 2011

Next Whitecap To Be Moved

The Summer Transfer window is now open and the Whitecaps are looking to add to the number of changes they are already making.  With the trade of Terry Dunfield to TFC and the immediate release of Mouloud Akloul coupled with the additions of Jordan Harvey and Mustapha Jarju the roster sits at 29, including two international spots.  So in order to bring in multiple players the Whitecaps will have to make some difficult decisions when choosing the players that would have to move on.  Below is a list of eight players who on the basis of their skill and injury history, as well as other factors, could be leaving the expansion team this summer.

LB/LM Blake Wagner:  The left footed former Generation Adidas player was one of the first signings for Tom Soehn before the 2010 season.  Wagner, drafted in 2006 by FC Dallas, had the most MLS experience amongst the players brought from the Division 2 squad having 40 appearances including 32 starts.  This season Wagner has started in nine matches at Left Back usually when Alain Rochat needed a rest or if he had to move inside.  While Wagner is by no means a horrible player on the backline he lacks the pace and confidence to move forward on the attack.  With the recent addition of Jordan Harvey it looks like Wagner will be soon be moving on as he falls to third on the depth chart.

CM Alex Morfaw:  It may come as a surprise to some if the Whitecaps parted ways with the Cameroonian international.  However Morfaw is one of the higher paid players on the team and has appeared for only 135 minutes this year in his two appearances.  The 23-year-old has spent most of his time with the PDL squad and in reserve matches.  Also he is very low on the depth chart behind players younger than him like Brovsky and the teenage Koffie.  The Whitecaps currently have two international spots available after the signing of Jarju and the imminent release of Akloul so if the club feels they need to bring a fourth player from overseas this summer then Morfaw would be the first to go.

CB Greg Janicki:  Another player with MLS experience before the season started, Janicki played under Soehn at DC United.  He was released after Soehn had left the club in 2009 and Janicki arrived in Vancouver before Soehn took over in the front office.  It is unclear whether the central defender is a Soehn guy or not but he has not received as many starts as he did under the previous coach as six of his seven  starts came under the previous regime.  With Akloul out and DeMerit potentially injured for a long period the only way I can see is if the organization brings in two center backs and one of them is domestic, so for now it looks like Janicki is safe.

ST Long Tan:  After playing for Tampa Bay last year in Division 2, Tan was brought over to the Whitecaps to complete an earlier trade.  He impressed the coaching staff and earned himself a developmental contract with Vancouver.  While he is a Chinese international player, he does possess a green card which makes him a domestic player by MLS roster rules.  Tan has started only once and has come on as a substitute three times collecting only one assist and has spent the majority of the season with the PDL side.  There is a lack of finish in his game but Tan offers energy and a high work rate especially when he comes off the bench.  He may be expendable with the arrival of Jarju and the return of Atiba Harris from a lengthy stay on the injured list. 

CM Peter Vagenas:  The MLS veteran was signed after the season had started when a move to Japan was cancelled for Vagenas due to the earthquake.  It took some time for him to find his fitness as he made his debut 2 months after his arrival against Real Salt Lake.  His initial performance was lacking quality but there has been improvement with every match that has gone by.  Soehn seems to trust the 11 year veteran and continues to put him in the starting eleven.  When he first signed it was for three months so there is a chance that Vagenas does not re-sign and continues on to the original club in Japan.

RB Wesley Knight:  One of the three players on the roster signed before Soehn took over, Knight has had an up and down 2011 season.  It started off well as he mostly played on the right side of the midfield in the place of the injured Shea Salinas before moving back to his natural right back spot.  Under Thordarson’s tenure as coach, Knight appeared in 10 of 12 matches starting in eight of them while he’s only played in 2 of the 8 matches after Soehn took over.  One thing that helps Knight is that his salary is just the minimum amount so the only reason his release would come is because the coach does not confidence in someone he didn’t sign.

CM John Thorrington:  The last pick in the expansion draft, Thorrington was thought to be a steal and someone who would be a leader for the team as he was named alternate captain.  However his history of injuries have caught up with Thorrington as he has only played a total of 52 minutes coming on as a sub only to pick up an injury.  Having played more than three years in MLS there is no way he can be released but there is a remote chance a contender may try to acquire him for the stretch run.  While his move would be highly unlikely, considering his injuries and his salary being over $200,000, it only takes one team to be interested for a trade to occur.

RB Bilal Duckett:  The third round pick in the 2011 Super Draft was brought in as a raw project as the club was hoping he could develop into a solid defender for the future.  It started like this as he started the season playing reserve games and in PDL matches but that changed when Soehn took over.  Duckett started the first two games after the coaching change and it clear that the Notre Dame product needed more seasoning.  He has been in the eighteen for most of the games after those starts appearing twice more as subs usually in the second half.  There is a very small chance that Duckett is one of the players that could be released as Soehn feels he has the talent to become a very effective defender in the MLS and has confidence in Duckett.

ST Camilo:  There are rumours out there that a claim has been filed for Camilo's services from the Middle East in the half a million range.  Camilo burst on the scene with two dramatic goals in injury time against Sporting Kansas City to preserve a draw and he hasn't slowed down since.  He has appeared in every game, spare one for rest, and is tied with Hassli for the lead in goals by a Whitecap.  There would be only two reason to transfer out Camilo.  One is if they offered a huge some that was too good to pass up as well as they possess a replacement that could join the team right away.

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