Whitecaps minus four attacking players for first leg of Champs League quarters

Whitecaps limp into Champions League

VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Whitecaps will be without four key attacking players for Wednesday’s first leg of their CONCACAF Champions League quarter-final against the New York Red Bulls.

Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson said after Sunday’s practice that Yordy Reyna and Nicolas Mezquida, who can both play in midfield or as strikers, as well as midfielder Christian Bolanos won’t make the trip to New York because of injury.

Robinson also confirmed that newly acquired striker Fredy Montero, a designated player who joined Vancouver on a season-long loan from his Chinese club last Wednesday, won’t be available for the game against the Red Bulls as he continues to get into game shape.

Acquired from Austria’s FC Red Bull Salzburg last month, Reyna was hurt in the Whitecaps’ final pre-season match. He was seen in a walking boot and using crutches at the Major League Soccer club’s training facility on Sunday. 

“I don’t know the exact status of him,” said Robinson. “All I know is that he won’t be playing (against New York) and he will be out a few weeks.”

Robinson said that both Bolanos (knee) and Mezquida (undisclosed) will also miss a few weeks.

But he added Montero, who played four seasons with the Seattle Sounders and is a three-time MLS all-star, should be ready to go when Vancouver hosts the second leg against New York on March 2.

The Whitecaps open the MLS regular season March 5 at B.C. Place Stadium against the Philadelphia Union.

The Canadian Press

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