Thursday, February 16, 2012

FINAL PIECE TO CAPS PUZZLE?


It was a position that was a need for the Whitecaps since the retirement of Martin Nash and it seems that the Whitecaps have finally filled it with the addition of Barry Robson.  The Scottish midfielder, who will count as a designated player, will join the club once his current season is over with Middlesbrough. However he will not be eligible to play for the Caps until the MLS summer transfer window opens in late June.

After starting his pro career with Rangers of the SPL, where he was unable to crack the lineup, Robson moved on to Inverness CT.  After six years with Inverness, where he helped the club earn promotion to the premier division, Robson moved on to Dundee United in the summer of 2003.  It was at Dundee United where Robson played with current Whitecap assistant coach Paul Ritchie for two seasons.  His final season and a half at United saw Robson score 24 goals which earned him a contract with SPL giants Celtic.


After two seasons with Celtic, the Scot moved on to England with Championship side Middlesbrough in January 2010 where his former coach at Celtic held the top spot.  In two seasons with the second division side Robson has scored 16 times in all competitions including his latest in the FA Cup draw with Sunderland. 

The midfielder has an established reputation from his days in the SPL as well as in England where his former coaches rarely had a negative thing to say about the Scottish international. Once the Caps add Robson to the roster, he will only count $175,000 against the salary cap and will count as an international player.  With the deal being completed so early, supporters can also be assured that there will be no issues with his fitness levels and there should be no international duty unlike their previous DP signing.

When Barry Robson eventually joins the Whitecaps, it will give the club and Rennie a player who has versatility and goal scoring ability from anywhere in the midfield.  While he has the ability to play wide, including left back, it is expected that Robson will play in a central box to box role for the Caps.  Everyone will point out his goal scoring prowess, but the Scot also brings bite to the midfield with his tackles as well as the skill to push the ball forward when he gains possession filling a major need for the organization.  


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