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In Franks, Vancouver see a familiar face and depth

BURNABY, B.C. — Floyd Franks, signed by the Vancouver Whitecaps on Tuesday, is a new face, but head coach Martin Rennie knows him well.

Franks played for the NASL Carolina RailHawks under Rennie for the last two seasons, and prior to that, the pair were together in 2008 with the Cleveland City Stars. 

“He brings a lot of competitiveness, a lot of aggression,” Rennie told MLSsoccer.com after training at Burnaby Lake on Tuesday. “He’s a guy who can play a number of positions and adds more depth to our squad.”

Franks’s arrival means the club now has 29 players signed on its maximum 30-man MLS roster. The 27-year-old, who spent 2006 and 2007 seasons with the Chicago Fire, is expected to fill holes in a number of positions and act as a sort of utilityman in the case of injuries or squad fatigue.

“He can be a defensive midfielder, he can be a box-to-box kind of midfielder and he can play fullback as well,” Rennie continued. “He’s a guy with a lot of attributes and a guy who can bring a lot of desire and determination every time he steps on there and we always need that.”

One player Rennie hasn’t made his mind up on is Bilal Duckett, the 23-year-old defender drafted 37th overall in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft. Duckett has trained with the club during preseason but hasn’t been offered a contract for 2012. With First Kick against the Montreal Impact on Saturday (6 pm ET, TSN/RDS/MLS Live), Duckett will learn whether he has a future with the club in the coming days.

“He’s a guy I’m going to speak to in the next day or so,” Rennie said. “I’ve had a good chance to evaluate him and need to make my mind up on that.”

Martin MacMahon covers the Vancouver Whitecaps for MLSsoccer.com.