Whitecaps looking to Europe for marquee players

BOB MACKIN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:04 PM ET

The Vancouver Whitecaps may feast on PIIGS as they compile a roster for their Major League Soccer debut in March.

PIIGS is an acronym for the Eurozone’s debt-plagued Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain. Economic woes there mean top players could look abroad for contracts.

“The player market is like every market in the world, it's subject to the economics,” said Whitecaps’ chief executive Paul Barber. “People are having a tough time, particularly in Europe at the moment. That does create options for better value. It's not inconceivable we'd benefit from that.”

Barber joined the Whitecaps last spring from England’s Tottenham Hotspur whose star striker Robbie Keane may be on the move. London’s Sun tabloid speculated last week the Irishman could be Vancouver-bound. Barber said the Whitecaps are exploring various options for marquee players.

Whitecaps’ president Bob Lenarduzzi said last week the club’s priority is to “establish the core” before venturing into the international free agent market.


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