July has been a busy month for Whitecaps FC, not only on the pitch, but off as well. We all know the number of matches they've played so far, with one more to come, but it's also been equally busy off it. Re-inforcements arrived in the form of Canadian internationals Marcel de Jong, who impressed during the Voyageurs Cup SF with Ottawa and David Edgar. The trade for and subsequent transfer of Fabian Espindola, who as we all know ended up moving onto Necaxa of Liga MX. Perhaps the biggest news of them all, the signing of 15 year old Alphonso Davies to a Homegrown Player contract. Obviously, the club and those fans/supporters who realize what's best for the kid, is to not rush him in too much. After all, he's still in high school. Enough rambling on that....
Early chatter indicates that some don't know who the newest Cap is. Let's operate on the assumption that he's going to report, pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and Canadian work visa.
Who is Giles Barnes?
Date of Birth: August 5, 1988 (27 years old)
Hometown: London, England
Citizenship: England, Jamaica
Status: Domestic (Green Card)
Previous Club: Houston Dynamo
How Acquired: Acquired from Houston Dynamo in exchange for general allocation money and right of first refusal to defender Keyner Brown
His experience includes:
Time at Derby County, West Brom and Doncaster
CONCACAF Champions League (2012-2013 season with Houston)
His career statline:
131 games (108 starts)
31 goals, 14 assists (9313 minutes)
11 yellow cards, 0 red cards
This move makes 30 active bodies on the Caps roster. They must be down to 28 by September 15th, a league mandated compliance date, which essentially freezes the rosters through to the day after MLS Cup. What does that exactly mean?
I would presume, again with this being MLS and it is unknown what changes Garber's mind, but it would stand to reason that between Mar 2 (day after Rosters are submitted) and September 15th, a team could be over the 28 man roster.
The current Caps roster composition:
3 goalkeepers (Ousted, Tornaghi, Carducci)
8 defenders (Waston, Parker, Seiler, Harvey, Edgar, Dean, Kah and Smith)
11 midfielders (Bolanos, Morales, Teibert, Bustos, Techera, McKendry, Laba, Jacobson, Froese, Flores, Davies)
2 fowards (Kudo, Perez)
3 F/MF (Hurtado, Mezquida, Manneh)
2 D/MF (Aird, de Jong)
1 on loan - doesn't count against roster rules (Adekugbe)
Obvious candidates come from the backline and midfield. Obvious one, to some, is the return of Jordan Smith to Saprissa. Other players who haven't seen a whole lot of minutes: Kah, Froese, Flores (injury and Olympic duty), McKendry and Bustos. Let me introduce one other scenario: Kah could retire on Sept 14th, the day before Roster Compliance. With 6 games after Sept 15, and only the Central FC home fixture in CCL play, and with de Jong and Edgar presumably at full fitness, is it really all that unreasonable?
Back to Barnes, he has primarily been playing on the right side of midfield (in varying formations) or as a single striker in a 4-1-4-1. Granted, this has been with Houston, the only team worse than Seattle, and they've both seen the coach they started the season with depart. It'll be interesting to see how he fits in with Bolanos usually getting the start to Pedro's right in midfield.
I don't expect to see him until next week vs Colorado with his home debut coming vs San Jose on Aug 12.
Time will tell if the wheeling and dealing was worth the time and effort.