Sports Soccer

Camilo rumours heat up for Whitecaps

By Hosea Cheung, 24 hours Vancouver

Camilo ditched the Vancouver Whitecaps for Mexico, but financial woes with his new club have some speculating he might return. (REUTERS FILE PHOTO)

Camilo ditched the Vancouver Whitecaps for Mexico, but financial woes with his new club have some speculating he might return. (REUTERS FILE PHOTO)

Could it be true? Could Camilo be returning to the Vancouver Whitecaps?

The story heated up over this past weekend and when asked about it Monday, Vancouver Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson didn't exact quell the rumours.

Instead, he admitted that the striker — who bolted from the Whitecaps for Mexican club Queretaro FC in January — is on a list of about five or six natural scorers the team is looking at potentially adding.

"His name has been brought up, but I could give you another four names that would slightly intrigue you a little bit more as well," Robinson said. "As far as I'm concerned, at the moment Camilo is under contract. His name was mentioned as a player that depending on the situation in Queretaro, who knows what's going to happen, but he's got a three-year contract there.

"I wish I can give you four of the names I'm looking at and that might take your mind off a few things."

Despite having a year left on his contract with Vancouver, Camilo chose to void his agreement with the Whitecaps and join Queretaro — leading 'Caps president Bob Lenarduzzi to call his actions "unacceptable and inappropriate" — burning bridges with the city he had played in for three seasons. The Brazilian finished with 22 goals and six assists last year, winning the league's scoring race.

But the lure of money and questionable guidance from his agent brought him to Liga MX — which has seen him score three goals in eight games.

In February, it came out that the players there weren't being paid by the club, and uncertainty continues to linger around the ownership, financial situation, and their membership in the league itself.

Then reports last week suggested Camilo was "desperate" to come back to Vancouver. His agent denied it in a statement on Saturday, saying that it is "totally unfounded" for a possibility of a return to Vancouver.

Either way, the Whitecaps continue to search for another goal scorer after the departure of designated player Kenny Miller a couple weeks ago.

"We got players who are able to score, but we don't have a goal scorer," Robinson said of his club, which are tied for fourth in goals with 16 in the Western Conference. "If that player becomes available, then we're going to look at it. You're always trying to evolve the team, but if it was ever going to disrupt the harmony of the group, then I'm not going to do it, whether it's Camilo or anyone else."

Bringing him back will be interesting for both the players and the fans, especially since Camilo wanted out. But if he were to return, the Whitecaps claim it won't be an issue.

"Any player who wants back into this club is always welcomed," veteran defender Andy O'Brien said. "We don't make those decisions.

"When Camilo left us, I said one player doesn't make the team and as demonstrated this season, players have gotten opportunities and done very well. People come and go, and there's no dispute that the team has done well this season so far."




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