If the rumors about Octavio Rivero are true and his time as a Vancouver Whitecap is coming to an end, the pressure will be on Whitecaps skipper Carl Robinson to go out and find a new goal scorer, and one that can score at a more consistent rate than Rivero.
The Whitecaps have a lot of talent on their roster, but they don’t have anyone that could be considered a long-term solution at the striker position currently signed, and if Rivero is on his way out, they need to go find one.
The Whitecaps have a lot of players that could potentially fill the void for a little bit, but the club has been relying on potential with Rivero for the last season and a half and that’s only brought them stagnancy and mediocrity from a position that demands success. If the Whitecaps are making the bold move and throwing in the towel on the 24 year old, they certainly can’t rely on their current stable of depth players.
Erik Hurtado is similar to Rivero in that he has an incredible work rate, but can go for long stretches at a time without sniffing the goal. Masato Kudo is an unknown commodity as he recovers from a jaw injury, and Kekuta Manneh has shown more from an attacking midfield position rather than as a lone striker. Really, the best person to take the job right now is Blas Perez, and at 35 years old he can’t be relied on as an every-match option. Carl Robinson certainly must feel that way, as he’s limited the Panamanians’ minutes all season long.
The transfer window re-opens on July 4th, and it’s clear the Whitecaps can’t just be window shoppers if the club is going to make a serious run this season. Rivero and his massive salary are gone, so they should have some money to throw around. That being said, Robinson had some quotes on MLSSoccer.com that indicates he might be happy with the status quo.
"We’re a team," the Whitecaps head coach said. "We’ve got to score goals by committee. We haven’t got an individual scorer who can score 20 goals like some teams. We know that. Will that change? I’m not sure. Players have to step up.
"You see at Euros now, you’ve got world-class players, superstar forwards that aren’t scoring goals. But the team is stepping up for them. That’s what we are. We’re a team. We stick together I don’t really care who scores. David Ousted can score a goal if he wants."
Those aren’t exactly words of comfort. In my opinion, the Whitecaps are going to have a tough finish to the season if they can’t replace Rivero with a new player, and one that can provide some consistent offence.