Join MLSsoccer.com’s Jackie Pickering and Nick Firchau as they travel from LA to Vancouver, checking in on all the West Coast teams, meeting with fans, and stopping into adidas HQ in Portland to pick up the game ball for First Kick on March 15 at Qwest Field.
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VANCOUVER – Vancouver Whitecaps FC officially announced Tuesday the long-awaited signing of Swiss playmaker Davide Chiumiento.
Though winning is obviously first and foremost for any team, the club is also confident that the “Swiss Ronaldinho” will attract fans with his entertaining style of play.
“I’m a big believer that results are important, but equally important is how you go about it,” said Whitecaps president Bob Lenarduzzi after the team’s training session on Tuesday. “Davide is the kind of player that will get people up out of their seats with some of the things he does.”
Much is expected from the multilingual midfielder/forward. He was hardly fit when he suited up for the USSF D-2 Whitecaps last season and consequently had little impact. But after more than six months with the club, the 5-foot-7 attacker is now braced for a big season in MLS.
“I hope that we can all have a great season – the club, the players,” the soft-spoken Chiumiento said. “We hope to do something special for the city so people will like to come to the stadium to see our games.”
The diminutive magician has been favorably compared to David Ferreira by teammate Atiba Harris, who played with last season’s MLS MVP at FC Dallas. Chiumiento is flattered by the assessment, but maintains that he brings his own unique style of play.
“It’s a pleasure because [Ferreira is] a very good player,” said Chiumiento, “but I’m Davide and I’ll do what I can. That’s my job.”
Originally coming to Vancouver from FC Luzern last August, Chiumiento is the third player to join the Whitecaps roster from the Swiss Super League. He teams up with former opponents Alain Rochat and Eric Hassli, who joined Vancouver from FC Zürich.
Chiumiento, a former Juventus FC youth player, was called up to the Swiss national team leading up to last summer’s FIFA World Cup. He played in a friendly against eventual World Cup semifinalists Uruguay, but wasn’t chosen for the final squad that played in South Africa.
While he hasn’t given up on his international career, Chiumiento is now focused on creating goals for the Whitecaps.
“I’m not retired [from the Swiss national team], but I’m not thinking about that at this time,” said Chiumiento. “I’m just focused on the Whitecaps right now and playing a lot of good games.”