VANCOUVER, B.C. – It appears as if the Vancouver Whitecaps will have a virtually full squad for their away match against the New England Revolution on Saturday (2 pm ET, MLS Live).
This as Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson said on Wednesday that Russell Teibert (hamstring), Andy O'Brien (deadleg) and Johnny Leverón (concussion) all looked as if they'd be able to fly out with the squad on Thursday to the East Coast.
The energetic Teibert's return in particular should be encouraging for the 'Caps, given the lethargic showing by the side in last weekend's uninspiring draw against Chivas USA, who were reduced to 10 men.
“He's sporting a new haircut today, so that might tell me he's available,” Robinson told reporters at the University of British Columbia following Wednesday's training session. “He looks quite bright out there. He's one of a number of players that are pushing for starts.”
After watching his team struggle last weekend, the player himself is eager to once again return to action and make a contribution.
“Every weekend we're looking to improve on all levels because it is the beginning of the season and there's a lot of games to go,” Teibert said. “I wouldn't say we're there yet, and I wouldn't even say we're close. Because this team has a lot of potential and I think what we can achieve this season is limitless.
“This weekend will be a great weekend for us to show what we're capable of and how we will bounce back.”
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As for O'Brien and Leverón, that should allow Vancouver to keep their backline intact to start a match for the third game on the hop, with O'Brien slotting in at center back alongside Jay DeMerit, and Leverón coming in for Christian Dean as the lone defender on the bench.
“Andy's fine,” Robinson said. “Andy's come back [after the offseason] in great shape and has been very, very good for us over the first two games. Johnny had the slight concussion. He's back into full training now and I think you've seen today what he brings to the table. It's important having him back in the fold as well.”
Martin MacMahon covers the Vancouver Whitecaps for MLSsoccer.com.