Sports Soccer

Camilo’s loss could help in the long run

By Tyler Green, 24 hours Vancouver, soccer columnist

Camilo was all smiles when he played for the Whitecaps, but it looks likes he’s forced a deal so he can play in Mexico.

Camilo was all smiles when he played for the Whitecaps, but it looks likes he’s forced a deal so he can play in Mexico. (REUTERS)

With the inevitable departure of Major League Soccer’s 2013 Golden Boot winner, Camilo Sanvezzo, where does this leave Vancouver Whitecaps FC?

It’s not rocket science that losing a player with 22 goals in a season will immediately weaken your team on the field, while the way he left dealt a big blow to any perceived strength the front office had.

Statistically, in 92 career MLS matches, the 25-year-old Brazilian scored 39 goals, accounting for a 32.6% scoring rate in MLS play. Of the 30 matches Camilo scored in, Vancouver had a record of 14 wins, eight draws and eight losses. When Camilo scored multiple goals in a match, Vancouver had five wins, two draws and only one loss.

In essence, Sanvezzo is almost irreplaceable unless you pay huge dollars. In the salary cap world of MLS, that’s going to be difficult.

The Whitecaps, however, do gain some value from the loss of the Brazilian.

Camilo’s absence from the roster provides considerable cap space, somewhere in the range of $250,000 to $300,000. The Whitecaps could spend that salary, plus money from the transfer of Camilo, for a new designated player, but unlike their Canadian counterparts at Toronto FC, don’t expect the ‘Caps to dish out $20 million in transfers on big-name players coming to Vancouver.

Instead, that money will likely be reinvested back into the club and residency program.

The main core and future of the Whitecaps is with the players who are under 23 years old. The younger generation will divvy up valuable minutes in an attempt to take a major leap forward in their development.

Youngsters like Russell Teibert, Kekuta Manneh, Gershon Koffie, Johnny Leveron and a finally healthy Omar Salgado will now have an opportunity to break through in MLS.

Losing Camilo is a major blow to the Whitecaps organization as a whole, but in a time when the team could be fooling themselves into thinking they’re a playoff contender, Camilo’s absence might be exactly what the club needs in order to improve over the long run.

Tyler is a freelance soccer reporter covering Vancouver Whitecaps FC and Canadian National Teams. Follow Tyler on Twitter @tylergreenfc.



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