Omar Salgado, a player the Whitecaps have liked was their selection which left many of the MLS media scratching their heads. Bob Lenarduzzi said that they liked Salgado from his week-long trial in August (and failed loan spell to boot) and that never changed.
Salgado, the six-foot-four, 170-pounder from El Paso, Texas, is a member of the U.S. under-20 team.
Bobby Lenarduzzi described Salgado as “very gifted with a great left foot”, and didn’t stop there. “We see him as a player who can contribute right now, with unlimited potential,” Lenarduzzi said on a conference call.
He sees Salgado as a pure goal-scorer, as the US U-20 staff told the Whitecaps that Salgado, when given chances, is a “clinical goal scorer.”
Lendarduzzi admitted the club had received offers for the top pick, but none compared to the potential Salgado has. Lenarduzzi added the Whitecaps had Salgado pegged as their top pick after his week-long visit with the club in August.
Salgado gave BMac and Sekeres on TEAM Radio a simple description of his style of play, “I’m a target forward. I’m tall but I can dribble. I can shoot, I can score, I’m just a 9.”
You can hear Salgado with Bmac and Sekeres by clicking here.
Due to FIFA transfer rules, Salgado will not be eligible to play for the Whitecaps until he turns 18 in September. Bobby Lenarduzzi said on a conference call that the Whitecaps are aware of that rule, but hope to be given an exception.
The Whitecaps then took midfielder Michael Nanchoff, out of the University of Akron.
Lenarduzzi said Nanchoff will fill a need on the left side of the midfield. According to Lenarduzzi, Nanchoff can “get by people, get into the box, but still understands the defensive side of the field.”
Nanchoff said after the pick that his mom dreamt last night that he was drafted by the Whitecaps. Lenarduzzi also played against Nanchoff’s father and uncle in the NASL.
Full-Time host Tyler Green caught up with Michael Nanchoff on Thursday and that interview can be heard by clicking here.
The Whitecaps had that pick thanks to a trade with Toronto FC.
The club’s third choice, 19th overall, was midfielder Jeb Brovsky from Notre Dame.
Then, with the club’s first pick in the 3rd round (37 overall), the Whitecaps took defender Bilal Duckett from Notre Dame.
The Portland Timbers took University of Akron forward Darlington Nagbe with the second overall pick.
Nagbe was named NCAA player of the year earlier this month.
Lenarduzzi denied reports that Nagbe told the Whitecaps that he did not want to play in Canada, referring to those rumours as “inaccurate”. Lenarduzzi said the club was confident that if Nagbe was chosen by the Whitecaps, he would have come to Vancouver.
Again, the conference call with Whitecaps FC President Bob Lenarduzzi and Omar Salgado can be heard here.