There was big news out of Vancouver Whitecaps FC front office on Thursday. According to a press release, Whitecaps striker and Jamaican international Darren Mattocks has obtained his United States permanent residency status, or "green card". This means Mattocks no longer counts as an international on Vancouver's roster, freeing up a valuable international roster spot.
The Whitecaps currently occupy 10 of 12 available international spots, meaning there are two vacancies that could be filled during the summer transfer window (July 9th to August 8th). There's been plenty of noise about a big signing heading Vancouver's way in recent times, amplified by Carl Robinson's alleged list of targets - a list that includes
Camilo Futboldemort. With Mattocks now considered a domestic player, the odds of bringing in a major international talent raise even further.
Conversely, this could be less of a "pave the way for international reinforcements" move and more of a "prepare for the sudden loss of international spots" move. Having twelve international spots is something of an extreme luxury in Major League Soccer - teams start with eight - so being able to deal one or more spots to another team for draft picks, player rights, allocation ranking, allocation money or any combination of the above is not a bad thing.
It could also be a combination of the two. Consider this doomsday scenario: Vancouver sells an international spot to Toronto for allocation money and top spot in the allocation ranking. Combined with their current allocation reserves, the 'Caps then empty the bank and burn their allocation ranking on bringing
Camilo Futboldemort home to fill the remaining international spot! It could happen, people!
Ahem. Sorry. Fear-mongering is the worst kind of mongering. What say you, readers? Is Mattocks' domestic status a sign of stability, change or the end times?
EDIT (5:18pm, May 22nd): The Whitecaps have confirmed with me that the total international slot count will drop from 12 to 10 at the end of the 2014 season.