VANCOUVER, B.C. – The MLS summer transfer window is in full swing and as some clubs busy themselves on the open market, the Vancouver Whitecaps are playing the patience game.
Even as some fans grow anxious with the Whitecaps having won just once in the past seven games, knocking them out of the Western Conference playoff picture for the time being, head coach Carl Robinson said he won't be rushed into making a wrong signing that may prove to be a long-term detriment to the club.
"There has been a lot of turnover in summer transfer windows at the club in the last two years," Robinson told reporters at training on Tuesday. "Whether it's worked or not is up for debate, but I've got to make a decision based on what I think is best for the group and I will never put the group at risk for just one individual.
"I could go and bring in a 34-year-old now, one that's got a big name and that's out of contract. Is that going to help us in the short term? Yeah, it might cost us a lot of money, but it might help us in the short term. Is that going to help us in the long term? No, probably not, and that's what we've got to juggle."
Robinson has talked all season about thinking a couple of transfer windows ahead, and nothing has changed for the first-year coach.
"We're always looking at being progressive," Robinson said. "Not just for the summer transfer window but also January and next summer as well.
"It's not just going to be a case of a quick fix for us. It's got to be a long-term plan and I think the players understand that, the supporters understand that. We're going in the right direction, and as long as we continue to do that and move forward then hopefully I'll be doing my job."
When the Whitecaps parted ways with striker Kenny Miller back in May, the move freed up both salary cap space and a Designated Player spot. That spot is still open and something Robinson won't rule out filling, but only if he can find the right player.
- Get the latest Vancouver news at WhitecapsFC.com
Vancouver have had a mixed history with their DP signings to date, but the preseason additions of Pedro Morales and Matias Laba are two of the success stories and exactly the character of player that Robinson wants at the club in such a role.
"I won't make a wrong decision. Not just for me, but for the club as well," Robinson said. "You've got to be correct on your Designated Players because they're the big difference between being successful and not. So that's why I say I won't rush into bringing a Designated Player in if I don't feel the time is right or the player is right because it'll affect the group too much.
"We've got a young squad here with a young manager that wants to develop, not just in the next six months, but in the next two, three, five years. The decision when I signed Pedro was based upon him being here three, four, five years, and that's the goal with him. If I'm going to bring in a Designated Player, then that's going to be the case for the next one as well."