Vancouver Whitecaps push on after concluding Camilo debacle, clarifying Andre Lewis situation
VANCOUVER, B.C. – Depending on whom you talk to, the Vancouver Whitecaps' winter of discontent continued Friday. That or the day's events were much ado about nothing.
First there was the formal announcement that Camilo Sanvezzo had been sold to Mexican club Querétaro FC for a club record “multimillion-dollar” sum after a protracted and confusing transfer saga.
And just as the Whitecaps and their fans had let out a collective sigh and readied themselves to move on from the painful break up with their samba star, Goal.com's Ives Galarcep published a story which stated Vancouver's seventh-overall pick from Thursday's MLS Superdraft, Jamaican Andre Lewis, had signed a contract with the New York Cosmos of the NASL.
That report, it turns out, is true. But according to the Whitecaps, a deal between MLS and the Cosmos has been agreed in principle, meaning the 'Caps expect Lewis to be in training camp next week.
“There was a deal between Cosmos and [MLS] that was put in place, that was concluded I believe, and that's why we picked him in the draft,” Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson told reporters at Vancouver International Airport on Friday, fresh after arriving from the MLS SuperDraft in Philadelphia.
Robinson's availability late Friday afternoon, along with club president Bob Lenarduzzi, was also a chance for the club to close the painful chapter involving Camilo's departure.
Vancouver's Welsh bench boss provided a timeline on what took place in the buildup to the transfer saga.
“Since the end of season meeting with the club, Camilo had addressed a conversation that he thought he believed he needed a new contract,” Robinson said. “The club said they would look into it, but no decision could be made until the manager was in charge. I was placed in charge on December 15, 16 and the next evening I had a conversation with Camilo about going to the club and trying to get a new contract for him. ...
"Camilo did say he was looking forward to coming back and playing for me and wanted to be part of the club moving forward. Three days later, he was in Mexico with an opposition's shirt on.”
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Generally cool under fire, Lenarduzzi was visibly irritated when it was put to him if the club could have done more to keep Camilo around.
“When we sat down with Camilo, he said he was done,” Lenarduzzi told reporters. “He had given Querétaro his word that he would be going there. Why are we going to battle someone that doesn't want to be here that's actually reneged on his word when he signed the contract with us, and then turns around and says that he's given the club that he's going to, which he doesn't have a contract with, his word?
“He doesn't want to be here obviously, so, on you go.”
Martin MacMahon covers the Vancouver Whitecaps for MLSsoccer.com.