VANCOUVER, B.C. -- New Vancouver Whitecaps FC head coach Marc Dos Santos had said that he planned to be "very active" in the MLS half-day trade window on Sunday, and he was true to his word with three new players coming in to his squad.
Vancouver continued to be active on Monday, announcing the addition of former Seattle Sounders box-to-box midfielder Andy Rose from Scottish Premier League side Motherwell. And with the promise of more to come, Dos Santos was keen to stress that these are only the laying of the foundations in his rebuild of the 'Caps.
"The moves we wanted to do happened, so we're happy with," Dos Santos told reporters at the Whitecaps training facility on Monday. "I have to reassure you with one thing. We're doing the work of the ground, the tough work first, to make sure that we have all these players that are going to secure depth. That are going to fight for spots, that are going to give us versatility in different positions."
There's no doubting Vancouver need to do a lot of work to improve defensively, having conceded 67 goals this season, the fourth-worst record in all of MLS. And it looks like they'll be doing that without Kendall Waston, with Dos Santos admitting that he's had talks with the 'Caps captain but he "doesn't expect him back."
Dos Santos also indicated that the Whitecaps are "looking at different possibilities" in terms of using their one buyout of a player contract. While he was asked directly if that would be used on Efrain Juarez, Dos Santos would not indicate any specific player.
A player who definitely isn't part of Dos Santos' plans moving forward is Kei Kamara. The veteran striker is coming off his second-best season in MLS with 14 goals and six assists from his 28 appearances, but the Whitecaps feel a move in a different direction is what's needed under Dos Santos' rebuild.
"Kei's contract was ending and then we had to take a decision on renewing and bringing him back," Dos Santos revealed. "Kei was very important for the club last season but we're looking again at the big picture. We're looking at the medium, the long term, what we want to be about, and sometimes it's tough. Not all the decisions when you move on are easy decisions.
"When you're building a new team and looking at, and it's not a secret, a new way that we're going. A new direction. A lot of changes were made, and when you take decisions like that, there's some big ones that you're going to have to take and Kei was a big one, but we feel in terms of the medium and long term needs of this club, it was the right one."
Kamara's departure leaves a gaping hole in the Whitecaps attack, one which Dos Santos hopes to fill soon, and when he does it will be with the addition of a player from abroad.
"I see him coming from outside the league," Dos Santos revealed. "At the moment, when you evaluate all the forwards that are in the league, every one you could get, we evaluated some we wanted to bring in that were in other teams, but they're not easy to get because those teams want to stay with those players. I see that forward coming from outside the league."