Giles Barnes expected to make his debut for Vancouver Whitecaps at Colorado

Vancouver Whitecaps are currently in one of the toughest spells of their season and it's testing Carl Robinson's squad depth to the max.

The 'Caps have one match left of a four-game road stretch that has seen them already endure the Texas heat for MLS matches in Houston and Dallas and a trip to the Caribbean to face Central FC in CONCACAF Champions League action. It doesn't get any easier with a trip to the altitude of Colorado coming up on Saturday (9pm ET; TSN in Canada, MLS Live in US).

With two games in a three-day period this week, Robinson has found himself using 22 players from his MLS squad and calling up four players from the 'Caps USL side for Tuesday night's Champion's League win. Robinson has already said this weekend's game with the Rapids "will be a totally different team again." It's why clubs have squads, of course.

"Football nowadays is not about 11 players, it's about a squad of players," Robinson said. "I've assembled a very strong squad, group of players, and I want players who can play in multiple positions."

One such player is the Whitecaps' newest addition, Giles Barnes. And the former Houston Dynamo captain is expected to be part of that "different team" put out to face the Rapids on Saturday.

Barnes' acquisition late Saturday night surprised many, but he's a player Robinson has been after for a while, and one the 'Caps coach feels complements the talent he currently has at his disposal and will be a key component to the 'Caps playoff push.

"Giles can do that," Robinson said of his new signing's positional adaptability. "I've known Giles for a number of years. I tried to get him two times prior to being able to get him this time. He'll add to all the attacking forwards that we have, because we need to try and get results to shoot us up the league. We're delighted to have him on board. He's an exceptional player and he will make us stronger."
With the transfer out of Designated Player Octavio Rivero to Chilean club Colo Colo, and the bizarreness that surrounded the Fabián Espíndola transfer saga, the Whitecaps find themselves with a vacant DP spot.
It looks now as if that slot won't be filled until January, but Robinson was keen to point out that acquiring players like Barnes is a better fit for Vancouver's team mentality, as opposed to going out to make a splash on one big, highly paid name.
"There's no star players in my team," Robinson added. "Everyone is a star in my team and the team is the star. That's what I preach to them day in and day out and that won't change."