We know the Vancouver Whitecaps are looking to add some bodies to their roster, and now, with the injury to CB Jay Demerit, that search apparently is now for a center back. It's a bit of a U-turn from a few weeks ago, when Carl Robinson made it clear that they needed to add a goal scorer, someone who could put the ball in the back of the net. The name 'Camilo' (gasp!) was thrown around, even. However, thanks to five goals in five matches, the Vancouver Whitecaps might not need to look farther than their own starting 11. Since given the opportunity to prove himself at the top of the formation, Erik Hurtado hasn't looked back. While at times he's looked like a rookie, Hurtado has simply forced Robinson to put him the starting 11 week in and week out, by refusing to let his production slip.
The goals aren't flukes either; Hurtado has scored some of the prettiest goals in MLS this season, including the MLS goal of the week for that fantastic effort versus the Timbers.
While it looked like his poor first touch was incurable (and it does still need some work) Hurtado has looked far more relaxed during his recent tear, and has shown some surprising deftness with his dribbling skills.
It's really a perfect storm for Carl Robinson, in terms of dealing with the plethora of young talent at his disposal. With Kekuta Manneh slowing down, and Darren Mattocks slowed up the last few weeks recovering from injury, Hurtado has become one of the 'go-to-guys' in the attack. While Hurtado will eventually have to stop scoring at some point, his current performance has made the club an even deeper team, one that now has yet another young speedster that the opposition must contend with. By adding in another striker, a pure goal scorer, Robinson would have to pump the brakes on Hurtado's development. As quoted in an article by Marc Weber in 'The Province' recently, Robinson doesn't want to do anything 'silly' like that.
Now the downside; Hurtado is young, and streaks end. The question for our mohawked hero is how he'll respond when the goals start to dry up. Even more so, with Kenny Miller now out of picture, and the club looking at other holes on the roster to fill, Hurtado really needs to continue to be a consistent scoring threat for the rest of the season. I'm not saying he has to score every single match, but he certainly needs to be a serious threat every match.
So, do the Whitecaps need to bring in another scorer, or do you think Hurtado can keep this going the rest of the season?