Whitecaps hire Uruguayans in bid for Latin American flair

February 5, 2014 at 10:20 pm | Posted in Vancouver Whitecaps, Whitecaps season 2014 | Leave a comment

The signing of two Uruguayan players, Sebastián Mauricio Fernández Presa and Gabriel Nicolás Mezquida Sero, is historically significant in Vancouver Football. The Vancouver football establishment has always favoured the English, Irish and Scottish players rather than Latin American ones. This is understandable because Bob Lenarduzzi et al are more used to looking at the latin american players as the enemy rather than as teammates. Perhaps Bob played in too many nasty World Cup qualifying games in Central America. Although we had Martin Bonjour and Camilo in the squad, their departures suggest the Latin American fit is not a good one with the Whitecaps. On the other hand Johnny Leveron seems to be fitting in well, and perhaps now he will feel more comfortable having two other players to speak Spanish with.

Other MLS clubs have used Latin American players to tremendous effect, and this cannot have gone unnoticed to the Whitecaps brass. The Whitecaps also could not ignore the wishes of the fans to get some Latin American flair into the team, especially in midfield. Apparently we have one striker and one midfielder in the two new players. They are not household names, and they are coming to the Whitecaps from the Uruguayan second division, from a previously unheard of team called “Boston River”. The Whitecaps seem to not know who they have acquired because they apparently have a picture of a completely different player from Malaga on their web site, as someone has pointed out on the comments below the story on the Whitecaps website.

Uruguayan football is going through a good period with lots of talent coming through. The Uruguay national team finished fourth in the last World Cup, and won the Copa America as well. The only downside to these players I can see is their size. They are both shrimps at 5’6 and 5’7: how will they fare in the physical MLS? Lets hope they are good at shielding the ball and passing it because they won’t be winning a lot of hard tackles.

I love Latin American players because they combine pride in delicate skill with a cutthroat attitude towards winning. While we in the Anglo world detest all cheating, in Latin America if you beat your rival by cheating that just makes it all the more satisfying and fun; remember Maradona’s “hand of God” goal in 1986.

I am very happy with the signings, and I am excited at the prospect that the Whitecaps might play the ball on the ground with some nifty passing. Lets hope the Uruguayans both settle down and bring us some of the flair on the ball we fans all dream of.

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