With Kenny Miller likely out because of injury, Vancouver Whitecaps survey strike options vs. RSL
VANCOUVER, B.C. – With Designated Player Kenny Miller likely to sit out this weekend's home match with Real Salt Lake as he deals with a right abductor injury, the Vancouver Whitecaps will have to look elsewhere to make up their attacking unit.
Camilo, who scored a late brace against the Montreal Impact last weekend to seal a 3-0 win at Stade Saputo, will surely start, and the question likely remains is who will partner him up front?
Last weekend, the man who led the line was Tom Heinemann, who acted as a sort of battering ram for his hour of action, laying in to the Impact backline and providing the sort of physical presence and ability to hold up the ball that Vancouver's attacking group often lacks.
“Tommy's a talented player,” head coach Martin Rennie said of his 6-foot-4 forward. “He's a different type of player to the ones that we've got. He's very big and strong, he's aggressive, he's mobile. So we've got good options.”
Rennie did say he's unlikely to tinker too much given last weekend's positive result, but if he does change his approach, forward Darren Mattocks could also be in with a shout at some involvement, at least from the bench.
The Scottish coach said his Jamaican forward had put in a fantastic practice on Thursday and perhaps that could play into his thinking – the player certainly hopes so.
“I'm always optimistic,” Mattocks said of his potential involvement. “I think over the last couple of weeks I've been really good at practice, so it's just about me taking my chances when they come.”
And Mattocks understands that even playing a role off the bench could help springboard a more regular return to action.
“Kenny and Camilo have been scoring on a consistent basis,” Mattocks said. “Seeing what Camilo did last week, coming on and scoring two goals in the last five minutes or so ... if I get a chance [on Saturday], I've just got to do the same.”
As for Vancouver's outlook on the playoff picture? Rennie says it's no time to get all flustered just yet.
“We can go six or seven points off first [on Saturday],” Rennie said. “I think panic mode would be a bit crazy. I think people must have a stressful life if they're panicking at this point.”
Martin MacMahon covers the Vancouver Whitecaps for MLSsoccer.com.