Earlier this week, the Vancouver Whitecaps mutually terminated the contract of Paolo Tornaghi, to allow him to seek opportunities back home in Italy. While Spencer Richey was an emergency call-up for Wednesday’s tilt against the LA Galaxy, his season-long loan to the ThunderCaps meant that he was not able to remain with the club for the rest of the season. As a result, the Caps were in need of a replacement backup goalkeeper.
Rumored for the last ten days, the Whitecaps made it official this afternoon, adding 25-year-old New Zealand keeper Stefan Marinovic. The contract is through 2018, with club options in 2019 and 2020.
Marinovic has spent the last eight years playing in German. In that time, he has appeared in 100 matches (99 starts). In addition, Marinovic has 19 appearances for the New Zealand national team. Most recently, he, along with ThunderCap Deklan Wynne started for New Zealand in the 2018 FIFA Confederations Cup. He has also been a part of all nine of their 2018 World Cup qualifiers.
To make space for Marinovic, the Whitecaps traded $50,000 in general allocation money to Montreal for an international roster spot for the remainder of this season.
The move, along with other minor rumblings, has led some to speculate that David Ousted is on his way out. His contract is up at the end of this season, and it is rumored that he is looking for a raise. While Ousted has been a capable keeper, and it could be argued that he earned the Caps two additional points on Wednesday, he has not been up to the same level he was in 2015. Combined with the large salary and success of Richey, there are questions as to whether the Whitecaps are still in need of his services.
Of course, some have reminded us that things were not so stable prior to Ousted’s arrival and shipping him out may be a bad idea.
Just think back to the shit show before Ousted arrived. If he stayed for another year or two I'd be happy.— GoCaps (@whitecaps_fan) July 21, 2017
There are certainly arguments for and against renewing Ousted’s contract at the end of this season. Regardless, outside of taking up an additional international roster spot, the signing of Marinovic should not be seen as evidence that Ousted will leave at the end of the season, as Richey was unable to remain with the club for the rest of the season. Rather that the Whitecaps are doing their diligence, ensuring that if Ousted were to leave that the club has two keepers ready to battle for the number 1 gig.
What are your thoughts?