VANCOUVER, B.C. — The MLS Cup playoffs were just the start in Vancouver.
To get to the next level as a perennial contender and MLS Cup threat, the Whitecaps will be looking to add a few new faces through trades, signings and the MLS SuperDraft in the offseason.
“It’s not just about the starting XI, it’s about the squad of players that is going to contribute,” head coach Martin Rennie told MLSsoccer.com during a recent interview. “We can improve throughout the squad in almost every position. A bit more height and power in the forward position could help us, a little more creativity in midfield could be important.”
But equally important for the 2013 campaign will be getting the best out of players already on the roster who never really hit full stride – either due to injury or just subpar form during the 2012 campaign.
Darren Mattocks and Omar Salgado are two players who certainly could have done more this season had it not been for a cooking accident and a foot injury, respectively.
Other attacking options within the squad are capable of adding more goals and creativity as well, according to the Scottish tactician, who feels players such as Camilo and Designated Player Kenny Miller will have better showings in 2013.
Camilo scored just five goals in 28 games in 2012, which paled in comparison to his club Player of the Year season in 2011 during which he bagged 12 goals in 32 matches. Likewise, Miller struggled to adapt to MLS life in the early going, grabbing just two goals in his first 13 appearances.
“If all those guys are playing to their potential on a consistent basis, then I think they’re very dangerous and players who can score,” Rennie said. “We’ve seen that – but we need to see that on a more consistent basis.”
One hole that will certainly need to be filled through either draft, trade or signing is on the right side of midfield. The club’s only natural wide right attacking player, Dane Richards, moved on to Burnley of England’s second-tier Championship on a free transfer.
“It’s an obvious one,” Rennie said. “Dane was the most natural right-sided player we had, and he’s moving to England. So we’ll look to add to our squad there.”
Martin MacMahon covers the Vancouver Whitecaps for MLSsoccer.com.