Training Camp Notes
Starting today, we will be checking in regularly to assess the progress of players, position battles, and other tidbits of news as it develops at Whitecaps camp.
Previously designated player Mustapha Jarju has been given his outright release following a paltry 10 appearances for Vancouver, with no goals. The Gambian international came to the west coast on a hefty $400,000 plus deal that saw little reward for the investment. He has returned to previous club RAEC Mons of Belgium.
Vancouver is very fortunate on this front. There are no long term injuries at this time, and the main concerns of last year, midfielder/ forward Atiba Harris and defender Alain Rochathave recovered well from the setbacks that saw them both miss much of the stretch run last year.
At this time, Davide Chiumiento has looked the most impressive player at camp to date. Video footage from camp shows him holding possession well and using superb footwork to beat players and make space for his training partners. Chiumiento’s play last season was rather streaky.
He scored two excellent goals last year, but those were the only strikes he managed in a considerable 26 appearances (including 20 starts).
Taking into account the level of talent evident in the player, it is expected that he will demonstrate much improved progress in 2012.
That left a lack of experienced depth at the position, in case of injury, with US youth international Brian Sylvestre as the only other option.
As a result, head coach Martin Rennie has decided to bring in Brad Knighton, from his previous NASL team the Carolina RailHawks, as extra cover and to increase the amount of competition at goalkeeper.
Knighton had previously served as a back-up with the New England Revolution, for three seasons, as well as spending another year in a reserve role with the Philadelphia Union.
The well-travelled Knighton is still only 26 and, since goalies often require more seasoning then outfield players, he may prove to be a worthwhile investment for a relatively low cost.
Check back next week for our next Whitecaps update.