The Vancouver Whitecaps have some South American flavor, once again.
On Wednesday, the club announced the signing of Uruguayan attacking players Sebastián Fernández and Nicolás Mezquida.
Both join from Boston River, in their home country. Fernández, 24, comes on a one-year loan deal, with an option to buy, while Mezquida, 22, joins on a permanent transfer.
“They're attacking players, both of them are forward-thinking players,” Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson told reporters on Wednesday in Casa Grande, Ariz. “Sebastián has got the ability to play as a forward, as a wide player with pace, as well as a guy just off the front man.
“Nicolás I think is a more natural [No.] 10. You see the abilities he has ... he wants the ball all the time, he's on the half-turn, he plays forward and moves. They're two different types of players and I thought that the qualities that they bring will increase the technical ability in the squad.”
Interestingly, Robinson told reporters that nobody at the club had seen either of the players live prior to Wednesday.
“No, not directly,” Robinson said, stating he learned of the players initially through a friend, before following up more closely. “But people who I hold in high regard in the football circles have seen them live many times.”
Regardless of how they came to the club, the Welsh tactician seemed pleased with his new recruits following Wednesday's session.
“Both very sharp,” Robinson said. “I think you can see the technical, tactical ability they've got, raised the level and the tempo in training. I think they're bright players.
“They see pictures, they see phases of play well ahead, before they even get the ball. Very impressed, as were the [other] players.”
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In other news, Daigo Kobayashi has linked up with the Whitecaps for preseason on trial after his often frustrating 2013 season. Brought in as a creative midfield player, the once-capped Japanese international was at times brilliant, but struggled to deliver consistently, leading Vancouver to pass on his option ahead of the 2014 campaign.
Now it appears the sides could agree to a deal if Kobayashi impresses down in Casa Grande, although he will likely have to take a significant pay cut.
Another interesting trialist joining the club in Arizona is 20-year-old Nigerian international Solomon Kwambe. The right back has three caps for his country and will look to convince Robinson he has the ability to back up Steven Beitashour or even push him for playing time this season.
Martin MacMahon covers the Vancouver Whitecaps for MLSsoccer.com.