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Vancouver's Rennie: Reo-Coker is 'a big piece for us'
by Paul Kennedy, February 22nd, 2013 1:24AM

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TAGS:  mls, real salt lake, vancouver whitecaps

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[MLS 2013 COUNTDOWN] The Vancouver Whitecaps completed the signing of 28-year-old Englishman Nigel Reo-Coker, whose wife is American and who joined MLS instead of accepting offers from clubs in England and Russia. The move follows a settlement of the dispute of Reo-Coker's discovery claim between the 'Caps and Cascadia Cup rival Portland and gives the 'Caps potentially one of MLS's top defensive midfielders.

"He still believes and I believe that he hasn't hit his peak yet and time will tell if that's true or not," Vancouver coach Martin Rennie told reporters.

Vancouver had parted ways with Scottish DP Barry Robson and believes it has found his replacement with Reo-Coker, who spent 12 years in England with Aston Villa, West Ham United and Bolton Wanderers. Rennie says Reo-Coker is "a big piece for us."

REAL SALT LAKE. Real Salt Lake signed 20-year-old Colombian Olmes Garcia to a five-year contract after paying a transfer fee to his former club, Colombian First Division side Deportes Quindio. The rangy forward had seven goals in 47 appearances for Quindio.

“Garcia is a talented player who is a significant part of our long-term plan,” Real Salt Lake General Manager Garth Lagerwey said in s statement. “He’s fast, has good size and is skilled, but he’ll need some time to get used to our system and to Utah. We’ll be patient with him as we help him adjust to a new country, a new team, a new language, a new culture and new tactics.”
 
Garcia made his RSL preseason debut in the 3-2 win over New England on Wednesday night, playing  25 minutes off the bench.
 
MLS PRESEASON SCHEDULE:
Friday, Feb. 22
Colorado vs. Los Angeles
at Harder Stadium in Santa Barbara, Calif.
Seattle vs. Veracruz
at the Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Ariz.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Colorado "B" at Harder Stadium in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Saturday, Feb. 23
Chicago vs. Vancouver (Carolina Challenge Cup) at Blackbaud Stadium in Daniel Island, S.C.
Charleston Battery vs. Houston (Carolina Challenge Cup) at Blackbaud Stadium in Daniel Island, S.C.
San Jose vs. FC Dallas (Portland Preseason Tournament) at Jeld-Wen Field in Portland, Ore.
Portland vs. AIK Stockholm (Portland Preseason Tournament) at Jeld-Wen Field in Portland, Ore.
*3rd Place vs. 4th Place (Desert Diamond Cup) at the Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Ariz.
1st Place vs. 2nd Place (Desert Diamond Cup) at the Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Ariz. (TV: NBC Sports Network, live, 8 p.m. ET)
*Sporting KC vs. Toronto FC (Disney Pro Soccer Classic) 3rd Place at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Kissimmee, Fla.
*Philadelphia vs. D.C. United (Disney Pro Soccer Classic) 2nd Place at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Kissimmee, Fla.
*Columbus vs. Montreal (Disney Pro Soccer Classic) 1st Place at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Kissimmee, Fla.
*Streamed on mlssoccer.com, wh



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