Harvey looking at bright side of trade to Vancouver

VANCOUVER, B.C. — The Vancouver Whitecaps picked up left back Jordan Harvey from the Philadelphia Union on Thursday in exchange for allocation money, and it sounds as if the Southern California native is happy to be back on the West Coast.

“You look at the bright side of things,” Harvey said following the trade, speaking to TEAM 1410 Radio in Vancouver. “I’ve been online looking at everything all day, and I’m excited. Vancouver is a beautiful city and a great organization. ... I’m actually closer to home, so my family is pretty excited about this.”

Over the course of one-and-a-half seasons with Philadelphia, Harvey put in 45 starts in 46 games and, this season, had helped the Union give up just 16 goals — the third-lowest count in MLS — to reach second place in the Eastern Conference. He arrives to a Vancouver team that not only stands at the bottom of the West, but that's also holding up the league’s tail.

The left back explained that there was no point looking on the negatives of leaving the Union, and that he was instead looking to the future with the Whitecaps.

“At the end of the day, Philly got an offer they couldn’t refuse, from what I’m understanding,” Harvey said. “To know that Vancouver wants me that bad is awesome. That’s how I’m looking at it, so I’m looking at it as a fresh start and a new opportunity.”

The deal means Harvey will be reunited with Whitecaps winger Shea Salinas. The two played together in Philadelphia before Vancouver selected Salinas in the Expansion Draft last November. The two spoke briefly on Thursday after the deal was announced.

“[Salinas] was telling me different places to look at for housing and around town,” Harvey said. “He welcomed me into the Vancouver family and it’s nice to have a familiar face there.”

With their defensive struggles this season, the ‘Caps hope Harvey brings the stinginess that has defined the Philadelphia back line with him to Vancouver.

“We’re excited to have him,” head coach Tom Soehn said following the deal. “What he offers is MLS experience. He’s made a good career of being an outside back and we definitely want to shore up things at the back, and we think he’s a good asset.”

The Whitecaps coach explained that this deal wouldn’t likely be the only move his club will make in the coming weeks, and discussed the current roster and the options Vancouver have in terms of roster spots and avenues for bringing in players.

“We’re at 30 [players on the roster, the league maximum], but we do have some room to make some changes,” Soehn explained. “We’ll continue to explore options that can make us better. You’ve got the transfer window that opens up July 15 for foreign acquisitions and then the roster freeze isn’t until Sept. 15, which enables you to trade within the league. We’ll continue to look at things that we feel make sense, and hopefully come up with moves that make us stronger.”