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  • on July 12, 2011 -
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They could have been forgiven for doing things differently.

In the middle of a terrible season few would have blamed the Vancouver Whitecaps for announcing that their next Designated Player signing was one of those washed up “big” names that do little to benefit the team on the field but does much to raise the profile of the team to the casual ticket buyer.

Instead they announced that they had secured the services of Mustapha Jarju, a 24 year old Gambian striker who up until now has mostly plied his trade in the second tier of Belgium soccer. That name might not send Beckhamesque ripples through the news media, but it does send the message to the fans that the club is still focused on doing things the right way when it comes to developing the squad.

A young striker with a track record, but also with something to prove, should be the ideal fit alongside Eric Hassli and will allow first round draft pick Omar Salgado the chance to develop without the pressure that has seemed to stifle him so far in his fledgling MLS career.

What this means for the formation that the Whitecaps now employ will be interesting to see and Tom Soehn has a number of choices; he could play Hassli in the centre with Jarju and Camilo both flanking him in an amended 4-3-3 formation (with Chiumiento in front of two holding midfielders) , or he could could play 5-3-2 with Jordan Harvey and Jonathan Leathers operating as wing-backs, or he could even return to Teitur Thordarson’s 4-4-2 formation although that is something that he has shied away from throughout his coaching career.

Whatever the system though the Whitecaps will now pose more problems to the opposition defence than they have so far this season and, more importantly, will continue do so for many more seasons to come.

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