The Vancouver Whitecaps were not unduly hindered by the absence of four prominent players from their squad for the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal against the New York Red Bulls. Despite injuries depriving the team of Christian Bolanos, Nicolas Mezquida, and newly-signed Yordy Reyna, and the absence of star-signing Fredy Montero, the Caps got in and out of Red Bull Arena with a draw and a valuable away goal.
Still, with the quarterfinal poised at 1-1 and RBNY needing just one goal in Vancouver to potentially tilt the balance back in its favor, the Caps could use a little boost to the squad. Reyna will be out for a while. Neither Bolanos nor Mezquida seems likely to be fit in time for the second leg of the CCL quarterfinal on March 2. Further, first-leg starters Cristian Techera and Erik Hurtado are suspended for RBNY's visit to BC Place.
Shea seemed to be settling in to a role as a left back, but Caps head coach Carl Robinson sees him as an attacking option:
I don't see him as a fullback. I see him as a wide player or a forward player. My job, and my staff's job, will be to try and bring out the best of him because he's still only 26.
In his introductory chat with the VWFC beat media, Shea admitted the move to Vancouver was unexpected but also said he was looking forward to a more attacking role:
I like to attack. Higher up the field is better for that. I like playing on the right, on the left, or even higher. Wherever the team needs me.
And Robinson is hoping to have Shea in his CCL squad.
Reporting for the Whitecaps' website, Farhan Devji advises Fredy Montero is also ready to make a contribution. Montero is prepared to play CCL if called upon :
I am ready. Obviously not 100 per cent, however I’m just ready if the coach needs me to add something to the team, I will give everything that I have right now.
And the Caps have further bolstered their attacking options by signing Mauro Rosales. The 36-year-old midfielder knows Montero well - they played together for Seattle Sounders - and know Vancouver: he was with the Whitecaps in 2014 and 2015.
Per Robinson to WhitecapsFC.com, the veteran Argentine is not necessarily on the roster to be an every-day player:
If you look at the squads I’ve built here, I like to carry a senior player who is a bit of a hybrid between the coaches and the players.
But Rosales has signed in time to be added to the CCL squad if required. Nope - see comment (many thanks1) from TooMuchSoccer below: Rosales is cup-tied.
three two fresh faces in Vancouver's attack against RBNY, if everything works out for Carl Robinson over the next few days.