VANCOUVER, B.C. – It looks as if Mustapha Jarju will be staying with the Vancouver Whitecaps, at least for now.
Ahead of Wednesday’s MLS Expansion Draft, Montreal Impact coach Jesse Marsch dismissed the idea of the club bringing the Gambian Designated Player to Quebec.
“That one I expected,” Marsch told the Montreal Gazette on Tuesday regarding Vancouver’s decision to leave Jarju unprotected.
“They’ve had mixed reviews on him and Vancouver took some criticism for taking him. But sometimes it takes some of these players sometime to establish themselves when they come to a new environment,” Marsch added. “That’s not a guy we would be too interested in just because of the price tag and the fact that it hasn’t gone very well for him.”
Jarju failed to score or pick up an assist over 450 minutes in his first 10 MLS matches with the Whitecaps following his arrival from Belgian side RAEC Mons in July.
The Whitecaps will prepare for their second season in MLS by playing in the 2012 Disney Pro Soccer Classic preseason tournament from Feb. 24 to March 3.
Vancouver will take on the Montreal Impact on Feb. 24, Houston Dynamo on Feb. 26 and Sporting Kansas City on Feb. 29 in the group stage at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. The club could play an additional game if they reach the final or third-place match, both of which take place on March 3.
Former Whitecaps owner loses battle with cancer
On Monday, Herb Capozzi, the man who brought the Vancouver Whitecaps to the North American Soccer League by purchasing a franchise in 1973, passed away at 86.
The businessman and politician played a major role in the growth of soccer in British Columbia, as the NASL Whitecaps brought home the 1979 Soccer Bowl championship during his ownership.
Capozzi was a member of the Vancouver College Sports Hall of Fame, the UBC Sports Hall of Fame, the BC Sports Hall of Fame and the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame and is survived by his wife Alex.
The Kelowna, B.C., native was known for pushing the boundaries when it came to promoting his team.
"The things he would do to sell tickets to games are legendary,” BC Sports Hall of Fame curator Jason Beck told News1130 radio. "For the first Whitecaps game, the game ball was actually parachuted in by a skydiver. The skydiver landed at center field with the ball, delivered the ball and ran off. That was all Herb."
Martin MacMahon covers the Vancouver Whitecaps for MLSsoccer.com.