Three Whitecaps FC players have been called by their respective national teams to represent their nations in the upcoming Copa America Centenario to be played in the US from June 3rd to the 26th.
Towering defender Kendall Waston and veteran winger Christian Bolaños were both confirmed to have made the final list of Costa Rican national coach Oscar Ramírez.
— Kendall Waston (@kwaston88) May 16, 2016
The announcement comes today, a few days after Blas Pérez was selected to be on the Panama roster.
— FEPAFUT (@fepafut) May 10, 2016
Los Ticos are in a tough group and will battle the USA, Colombia and Paraguay while the Panamian team will face Lionel Messi and the Argentinian contingent alongside defending champions Chile, and Bolivia.
MLS will take a couple of weeks off during the tournament; however, Carl Robinson will lose his players for several key games as they head out for their international camps as early as next week, following the Cascadia clash against the Portland Timbers this upcoming Sunday.
Waston and Bolaños are automatic starters in the surging Whitecaps side that has won four of their last six games. We can expect former Norwegian international Pa-Modou Kah to slot into the lineup next to Tim Parker and cover the hole in the heart of the Blue and White defence.
Bolaños, on the other hand, will be a much trickier player to substitute. The veteran has been on an upswing run of form and has scored in four of the last five matches. His ability to manage the tempo of the game, in addition to his smart off-the-ball movement, will make him difficult to replace.
With Masato Kudo out for a long period recovering from double surgery on his broken jaw, Octavio Rivero still on the mend from a sprained ankle, and Pérez away in international duty, Carl Robinson may well find himself with a thin roster at the forward position.
The good news is that Erik Hurtado, who was given an opportunity on Saturday night to start against Toronto FC, held on to his chance with both hands. The Beaverton, Oregon native had a positive showing and made a positive impact in the game, and the scoreboard. This Whitecaps team has been praised for its depth in most positions.
The combination of injuries and international call-ups will test this depth in the upcoming weeks, but for now, it is imperative for the Blue and White to continue the momentum built over the last few weeks.