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The 2016 Vancouver Whitecaps and International Duty

International call-ups are a mixed blessing for clubs in Major League Soccer. As MLS does not honor international breaks, players end up missing league games to play for their country. Coupled with injuries and suspensions, this can impact roster decisions on game day. At the same time, international call-ups mean that players are succeeding at their club and the Whitecaps are acquiring notoriety as a result. We examine the potential international impacts for the Whitecaps roster going forward.

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

The on-field success of the Vancouver Whitecaps is the result, of course, of the players. As those players continue to impress, they get the attention of their respective national teams. Until this season, international call-ups have not been a major concern with Russell Teibert (and Darren Mattocks) being the only regularly called away. If the Whitecaps continue to improve, and acquire more young talent, the recognition, and game day roster impacts, will be even higher next season.

In the first half of the 2015 MLS season, management and fans (including myself) lauded the Whitecaps on their impressive depth. No longer were starters backed-up by journeymen and players not even up to MLS skill level. While it was effective in the first half of the year, a combination of injuries, card accumulations, and international duty impacted the Whitecaps second half performance. Of those currently on the MLS roster, eight were called away for international duty at some point during the season. With the possibility of Steven Beitashour being called in by Iran again, and Tim Parker and Kekuta Manneh playing for the US, 11 Whitecaps could be called away at any given time next season. This does not include David Ousted, who could theoretically be called up to the Denmark team as their two keepers are 29-year-old Kasper Schmeichel (16 caps) who plays for Leichester City, and 33-year-old Stephan Andersen (30 caps) who plays for Copenhagen. It also does not include potential new signings such as Romell Quioto, who played for Honduras Friday night at BC Place.

The acquisition of international team players is a mixed blessing as it improves the quality of the club and the notoriety across the globe. However, with MLS not honoring international breaks, the Whitecaps will need to take into consideration how international call-ups will impact their squad going forward.

List of Potential International Players for Whitecaps 2016 Roster

Canada: Sam Adekugbe, Marco Bustos, Marco Carducci, Kianz Froese, Russell Teibert

USA: Christian Dean, Kekuta Manneh, Tim Parker

Iran: Steven Beitashour

Jamaica: Darren Mattocks

Costa Rica: Kendall Waston

Denmark: David Ousted

Honduras: Romell Quioto

What are your thoughts on international duty for the Vancouver Whitecaps?