Whitecaps shore up on offence, forget about rest of team
By Jon Szekeres
The Vancouver Whitecaps went balls to the wall for offence at yesterdays MLS SuperDraft, nabbing 18 year old Gambian Kekutah Manneh with the fourth overall pick (acquired from Toronto FC), then selecting 22 year old former Santa Clara University star Erik Hurtado fifth overall. Both players are strikers, both players are quick, and both players are known for scoring boatloads of goals. However, Manneh is too young to be considered anything more than a prospect, or a project player at this stage of his career. Hurtado is essentially a replacement for the recently departed Dane Richards. He'll be used out wide to chase through balls, which, by all accounts, he should excel at.
That being said, did the Whitecaps forget that their Midfield is in tatters? Did the Whitecaps forget that their backline is incredibly thin? Did they forget that a long term injury to either Jay Demerit, Gershon Koffie or YP Lee will absolutely torpedo this team? Did they forget that the backline is aging, and that young blood is desperately needed? Did they forget that NOW would be the ideal time to get a young defender in the lineup? YP Lee won't be back next season, and the Whitecaps should've had a young, stud defender learning absolutely everything he could from the crafty veteran.
Now, the Whitecaps are rumored to be signing 19 year old ASD star Ethen Sampson, which does take a little sting out of the draft. However, as of now, the Whitecaps have a forward unit comprised of Kenny Miller, Camilo, Darren Mattocks, Erik Hurtado, and Omar Salgado. Martin Rennie usually runs two strikers in his offensive scheme, so that's a glut of forwards when you already have two young stars in Camilo and Darren Mattocks.
At the end of the day, the Whitecaps decided that having scoring problems in the MLS for the last two years was too much, and they wanted a change. I understand that.
However, given the shape the rest of the lineup is in, they had better have a few more tricks up their sleeve before the season opens in March.