Whitecaps go into full rebuild mode to upgrade for 2012
VANCOUVER, B.C. — The Vancouver Whitecaps had a busy Wednesday, trading winger Shea Salinas to the San Jose Earthquakes in exchange for allocation money and putting six players on the Re-Entry Draft list.
Salinas, arguably one of the most exciting dribblers in Major League Soccer, played 26 games for the Whitecaps this season, with the Texan picking up one goal and three assists.
"When [Salinas] came in, we had a post-NASL training camp in California and he was one of the players that really seemed to catch everybody's eye," club president Bob Lenarduzzi said during a telephone interview with MLSsoccer.com on Wednesday morning. "It's not something that hasn't been suggested to Shea himself, but one of the things we would have liked to see more of was a level of consistency every game, in particular the game he played in San Jose, where he set up Eric Hassli's two goals and was a constant threat.
"What we were looking for is that kind of performance on a regular basis, but he seemed to be quite varied. From [new head coach Martin Rennie's] perspective, he's looking for players who can be consistent."
In exchange for Salinas, the Whitecaps acquired allocation money, presumably to free up cap room to bring in a new signing. The name being floated around Vancouver right now is Lee Young-Pyo, a 34-year-old South Korean international fullback who formerly played in Europe for PSV Eindhoven and Tottenham Hotspur. Lenarduzzi said he had no comment to make "at this point" and that the rumor of Lee's arrival is "speculation."
The other big news on Wednesday was that Jay Nolly, Joe Cannon, Jonathan Leathers, Peter Vagenas, John Thorrington and Greg Janicki have not had their contracts extended or their options renewed.
All six players could now potentially go through the MLS Re-Entry Draft process.
"With Martin having seen videos of the whole of the season and spending the time with the players during the post-MLS camp, he's feeling at this stage we want to upgrade in certain positions," Lenarduzzi said. "As a result, those players are on the list. We have until Dec. 2 before the Re-Entry Draft takes place to negotiate with these players, and without getting into specifics, that's likely something we will be doing.
"We'll let the Re-Entry Draft run its course and it will be clear beyond that [which players will be returning], but for the time being, it would be premature to get into any details or specifics on any of the players."
Martin MacMahon covers the Vancouver Whitecaps for MLSsoccer.com.