The Vancouver Whitecaps announced yesterday that they had released midfielder Deybi Flores and defender Justin Fiddes.
If you’re a new fan you could be forgiven for having no idea who Deybi Flores is. He arrived on loan from Honduran giants Motagua in 2015. He made his debut and helped, along with Robert Earnshaw, to rescue a late win against the Portland Timbers. It was a very impressive debut from the youngster and people were excited for yet another slam dunk signing from Latin America by Robbo and the crew (how times change, eh?). Flores didn’t really recreate the quality that he showed in that first match for the rest of the 2015 season but he was young and the Whitecaps were willing to be patient with him and signed him permanently to a five year contract, a big vote of confidence. After a strong preseason camp in 2016 it seemed that perhaps Flores was starting to turn into a really good player. Unfortunately his first start against SKC was an utter disaster with Flores tripping over the ball en route to an SKC goal. After he spent some time with WFC2, The Whitecaps loaned Flores back Motagua in the hopes that the familiarity of home would help him rediscover the form he showed he was capable of. Initially this seemed to work as Flores appeared pretty regularly in a Motagua side that was at the forefront of Honduran domestic football. But Flores fell out of the first team over time. In early 2018 he refused to report to play for Motagua’s reserve side and was subsequently frozen out of the team. For the past few months Flores has been training on his own. Flores is now out of contract and free to sign with whoever he pleases.
Justin Fiddes is perhaps a bit more surprising. It’s not often that teams part with a first round draft pick after such a short period of time. MLS draft picks being busts is nothing new. A retrospective of the 2017 draft shows after just one year there are already players who have given up the soccer dream and are working regular jobs. What is surprising is that the Whitecaps gave up on Fiddes after only three professional games with Fresno. Fiddes wasn’t all that impressive in his three appearances but it’s still odd to see a player once described as “the best fullback in the draft” be cut loose after so little time.
All in all it’s a little disappointing to see the ‘Caps continue the trend of losing young players for nothing. It is, however, difficult to see where the market would be on these particular players so it’s somewhat understandable. They perhaps could have gotten something for Fiddes but it’s doubtful.