BURNABY, B.C. – Barry Robson likes what he sees from his new league and his new team.
The Vancouver Whitecaps' newest signing has seen his new team play twice in Major League Soccer since his official introduction last week, first in a 1-1 draw against the New York Red Bulls, then a rough 3-0 loss to the LA Galaxy.
WATCH: Robson speaks to the media
“I think it’s very strong,” Robson said of his first impressions of MLS, speaking to reporters after a training session at Burnaby Lake field this week. “Full of quality and I’m impressed with a lot of players we’ve got in our side.
"It was a disappointing game against Galaxy but I thought we showed great character second half to come out and play quite well in the game. Sometimes in football, games happen like that where one team’s flat and the other team’s real at it, and that’s happened many times over my career.
“So, it was disappointing but before that we were [five] games unbeaten and going well, so it’s just a blip. I thought the boys were really good against New York at home and we’ll be looking for much the same against Colorado [on July 4].”
That match against the Rapids will be Robson’s first chance to play, but as he hasn’t done much fitness work since the English Championship regular season ended on April 28, there’s no guarantee that he’ll necessarily start.
Still, if he is able to begin from the first whistle, it would come as a big boost to head coach Martin Rennie, who will be without midfielders Jun Marques Davidson due to suspension, and most likely John Thorrington as a result of a quad strain.
“I think he could definitely be involved,” Rennie said of Robson’s potential participation in that match. “To what extent, we don’t really know just yet. We’ve got quite a number of days of training before that game, so there’s a good chance he could be involved.
“He’s fitting in well. He’s been at a lot of big clubs so he knows what it’s like to come into a new team and get to know people. He seems to be settling in well, the guys seem to be responding to him and he seems to be enjoying it so far.”
Martin MacMahon covers the Vancouver Whitecaps for MLSsoccer.com.