Whitecaps' news and notes: Kenny Miller doubtful to play Saturday, Paulo Jr. waived
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Scottish striker and Vancouver Whitecaps designated player Kenny Miller didn’t take part in Wednesday’s training session at UBC and is doubtful for the club’s regular season road match against FC Dallas on Saturday.
Miller, who is dealing with a lingering hamstring injury, has played in only one of Vancouver’s last four matches for a grand total of 33 minutes as a substitute against Chivas USA on March 30.
He scored in that game, which came just days after he arrived back in North America following World Cup qualifying for Scotland.
In three regular season games this year, Miller has two goals and, prior to his injury, was playing his best soccer in a Whitecaps uniform since arriving in Vancouver last July.
Whitecaps waive Paulo Jr.
The Whitecaps waived Brazilian midfielder Paulo Jr. on Wednesday.
Other MLS clubs have 48 hours to claim Paulo Jr. off waivers. He came to Vancouver as the 10th pick in Stage 2 of the 2012 MLS Re-Entry Draft in December. He officially signed with the Whitecaps in January.
The 24-year-old Paulo Jr. didn’t make an appearance for the Whitecaps in regular season play, after playing 22 games for Real Salt Lake last year. He played in five of the Whitecaps’ first seven reserves matches, scoring once and adding four assists.
Turns out, the end to his brief tenure in Vancouver was part of the numbers game.
“In that kind of position, we’ve got a lot of, what we feel, really talented, young players. We just felt that it might be difficult for him to get in the team,” said head coach Martin Rennie.
Nigel Reo-Coker on diving
The Dallas Morning News last month quoted Houston Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear as saying diving in Major League Soccer has become “a sickening epidemic."
The comment, which was a snippet from a prolonged rant, was made after a Houston loss to FC Dallas, Vancouver’s next opponent and the top team in the Western Conference with a 5-1-1 record.
On the subject of FC Dallas players perhaps diving, Whitecaps midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker said, “I’ll make sure if they’re going to go down, they go down for a good reason.”
'Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger'
In the 58 total regular season appearances Whitecaps’ midfielder Gershon Koffie made over the previous two years, he started in all but two of those matches.
After starting the first four games of the 2013 season, Koffie was subbed on in the fifth game, which was against San Jose on April 6. He was part of the 18-man squad but did not make an appearance in Saturday's draw against Real Salt Lake at BC Place.
He has instead been used in the last two reserves matches, including Tuesday's contest against the University of Washington. It's not the most familiar of situations for the 21-year-old Koffie, who hails from Ghana.
“As you know, any player would like to be on the field but it is the coach’s decision,” said Koffie, who signed a contract extension with the Whitecaps in February and scored the first goal of the season in the opener against Toronto.
“I’m not that frustrated but I’m looking forward to playing anywhere they put me.
“Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, so I think I’ll be stronger next time he puts me in.”