VANCOUVER, B.C. – It may be all quiet between the lines in Whitecaps-land this week, but off the field it’s been busy enough.
Head coach Martin Rennie gave the first team the early part of the week off, with practices set to resume on Thursday, but in the background he’s been tinkering with his squad.
Late last week the Scotsman made room on his roster for the arrival of Designated Player Barry Robson by placing center back Michael Boxall on waivers. As of June 27, Robson is now officially on the club’s roster and is available for selection when the club next plays, on July 4, on the road against the Colorado Rapids.
The Whitecaps didn’t stop there though – they also executed a seemingly minor deal sending their second round pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft and their first position in the MLS allocation ranking to the Philadelphia Union in exchange for allocation money and a first-round selection in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft.
Philly used the allocation spot to sign defender Bakary Soumare. Rennie, meanwhile, has longer-term plans.
"There were a number of factors involved in this trade, including our current and future needs, the players available through allocation ranking, as well as the strength of next year's MLS SuperDraft,” Rennie said in a club statement. "In the end, we are very pleased with the assets we've acquired, as allocation money is an important asset in our league, and we have seen the value that a first-round pick can bring in either a quality player or something that can be turned into assets down the road."
There was also the surprise announcement that homegrown striker Caleb Clarke is on a two-week trial with German third-division side FC Rot-Weiss Erfurt. If he impresses there, the plan is for him to stay there for one season as part of his development.
“Caleb has enjoyed tremendous success since joining the club,” Rennie said in a club statement. “The timing of the trial is a little unfortunate with the start of the USSDA playoffs this week. However, this is a good development opportunity for him and Erfurt need to see him during this time frame, so he can play some friendly matches in their preseason.”
Martin MacMahon covers the Vancouver Whitecaps for MLSsoccer.com.