You can call Jordan Harvey the Rodney Dangerfield of the Vancouver Whitecaps; He just can't seem to get any respect. It's been that way since he joined the Whitecaps in 2011, as he didn't exactly knock people's socks off his first couple of times out. I'll admit I was quite hard on him in most of my posts, flaying the club for letting fan favourite Alain Rochat go in favour of the laid back American from California.
Once he settled into Vancouver, it was clear he had some game to bring to the table. While his defensive game can be hit and miss, he provided the 'Caps with some good ball movement and offensive instincts from the defensive end. After a few solid years for the club in which he exceeded expectation and started a plethora of matches, Harvey was passed over for the starting 11 this week in favour of the young Sam Adekugbe. Adekugbe took the opportunity and ran with it, leading to a spot on the MLS Team of the Week, and plenty of accolades lauded on him by Head Coach Carl Robinson.
Now, it's just one match, but it appears Sam Adekugbe has earned a chance to show what he can do with some consistent playing time at the MLS level, especially since he appears to have the trust of the Head Coach. It also means the Whitecaps may have a decision to make regarding the 31 year old Harvey, who made over 120,000 in 2014. If Adekugbe continues to impress, the Whitecaps could keep Harvey around as a terrific depth option, especially considering injuries for this club always seem to hit the backline. Having Harvey as a safety net could prove to be invaluable later in the season.
The club could also use him as a trading chip, as the Whitecaps do have a pretty sizeable question mark at Center Back, with Diego Rodriguez, Pa Modou Kah and Tim Parker all question marks at this point. If Harvey can be dangled for an established 'Demerit-esque' Center Back, the Whitecaps would have to consider the move. Of course, I have no clue what value Harvey has on the trade market, although I imagine there must be some demand for an established MLS left back.
It's early enough that the Whitecaps can take a wait and see approach on the matter, because there's plenty of variables here that need to be worked out. If Adekugbe stumbles or is injured, Harvey would obviously reclaim the spot. If Diego Rodriguez or Tim Parker manage to impress at the CB spot, the need to move Harvey for another player becomes lessened, and he may be used as depth for the rest of the year. Really, all we, and Jordan Harvey can do is wait to see how the season will unfold.