With El Padre suspended, Peru turns to Magic Reyna against New Zealand

Peruvian captain Paolo "El Padre" Guerrero was handed a 30-day preliminary suspension by the PFF on Friday after tests came back positive for a banned stimulant in the wake of Peru's scoreless World Cup qualifying draw in Argentina on October 5th.

Doctor Julio Segura spoke with Peru's Radio Nacional on Friday, explaining that "at the national team, we are aware of what anti-doping control is... So, we don't use any substances that produce doping [results]. It's a shame what happened with Paolo, but I am sure there was no problem from our side."

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What a guy, Nosa Igiebor picks his "little brother" Jamiu Alimi for the team

According to sources in Africa and Vancouver, Nigerian international and current Kano Pillars FC centre back Jamiu Alimi has confirmed that he should join Vancouver Whitecaps FC for the start of the 2018 season.

“We have been on the deal for some months now, but I have been delaying the deal. So, I can confirm that by January, I should officially join them."

“I got series of offers in Europe, but I decided to join the league because America is a peaceful place, and Vancouver offered me a better deal compared to other offers I received,” Alimi added.

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'Caps transition, Laba out for the season

"Matí is an important member of the club and we wish him a speedy recovery," said Vancouver Whitecaps FC manager Carl Robinson. "Our priority now is to support Matí and help him get back on the field as soon as possible. It's a big loss for us, but we have confidence in our group as we enter the final third of the season."

The native of Villa Raffo, Argentina, will have surgery to repair his ACL in the coming weeks, and will miss the remainder of the season. The club fully expects him to make a complete recovery come the spring. But his season is over.

And with it, perhaps the Whitecaps' season as well. Matías Laba has long been one of the most unheralded players in the Major League. They say that a holding midfielder is at his best when you don't even realise he's on the field.

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Teal Bunburies 'Caps in the Bay State

Teal Bunbury, Canadian Football's prodigal son, continued his blistering pace by scoring a fourth goal in five matches as the New England Revolution beat Vancouver Whitecaps 1-0 on Saturday night.

Bunbury finished off a nice passing sequence in the 53rd minute. Kelyn Rowe started it off by intercepting a goal kick by Vancouver's Stefan Marinovic. He sent it to Kei Kamara, who famously thought he was on his way to Vancouver before ending up in the Bay State. The ball was quickly returned to Rowe, who was on the right side, before being fed to a charging Bunbury, who found the back of the next from just outside the six year box.

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Whitecaps sign Egyptian holding midfielder Aly Ghazal

Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced on Thursday that the club has signed central midfielder Aly Ghazal by use of Targeted Allocation Money.

Ghazal, 25, has agreed to a Major League contract through 2018, with a "club option" for 2019. He will occupy an international roster spot and officially join the club's squad pending receipt of his work permit, visa, and medical examinations.

"Aly is a top midfield player who is comfortable on the ball and strong defensively," said Vancouver Whitecaps FC manager Carl Robinson. "He fits into the way we want to play, has a lot of experience at a great age, and brings leadership qualities. We are looking forward to welcoming Aly to our club and city."

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Whitecaps add a touch of Magic to their attack

Whitecaps FC added Peruvian International Yordy "Magic" Reyna from FC Salzurg today. Reyna, a 23 year old forward, can play all across a three man attacking line, but prefers the centre forward role, where he scored one goal every 263 minutes last year, or just under one goal for every three complete matches.

He was acquired with the use of Targeted Allocation Money (TAM), and is under contract until 2018. The club has the option to extend his stay until 2020. Although he has agreed personal terms, the transfer is subject to receipt of his international transfer certificate, and his Canadian work permit and visa.

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CONCACAF implements new Champions League format

CONCACAF revealed Monday details of an expansion to its international club competition structure with the addition of a new tournament, accompanied by a new format for the CONCACAF Champions League.

The expanded CONCACAF club competitions platform will feature 31 club teams – increased from 24 -- beginning with the 2017/18 season.  Sixteen clubs from countries around the region, including Canada, Mexico and the United States, Central America and the Caribbean, will compete in a concentrated CONCACAF Champions League to be disputed between February and May of each year.

Additionally, starting in August 2017, sixteen clubs from Central America and the Caribbean will participate in a new tournament, which will conclude in October.

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Whitecaps FC to tour Great Britain for just 11 days

Whitecaps FC will train on Monday in Vancouver before departing for the United Kingdom, where they face Cardiff City FC, Oxford United FC, and Bristol City FC on their pre-season tour.

The 'Caps British tour is in preparation for an upcoming Champions League quarterfinal with Red Bull New York. The first leg will be on 22 February in New York, and the second leg at BC Place on 2 March.

On Monday, the 'Caps will train at Ken Woods Field at 11:30 AM. The first team will be joined by four Whitecaps FC 2 players, two unsigned draft selections, as well as a select number of camp invitees. The full squad is listed below.

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Stewart Kerr named Whitecaps FC Goalkeeping Coach

Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced on Thursday that former Orland City SC and Toronto FC goalkeeping coach Stewart Kerr has joined the technical staff on a two-year contract, which runs through 2018. Kerr, 42, spent ten years as a player at Celtic FC, before moving to Wigan Athletic FC for the 2001-02 season.

Force into an early retirement due to a back injury, Kerr traded his gloves for a whistle. He has served as a goalkeeping coach at Scottish sides Airdrieonians FC, Motherwell FC, as well as Toronto FC and Orlando City FC in the Major League.

"We're pleased to welcome Stewart to our coaching staff," said Whitecaps FC manager Carl Robinson. "He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge from the UK, as well as (the Major League), and has helped develop a number of quality goalkeepers." 

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