Vancouver Whitecaps captain, Jay DeMerit, has admitted that while the unexpected loss of star striker, Camilo Sanvezzo, has been a blow to the club, the Brazilian’s departure has opened the door for someone else to step up and take the goal-scoring responsibility.

On the back of a sensational 2013 season in which he finished as the league’s top scorer with 22 goals to win the MLS Golden Boot, Camilo forced through a move to Mexico’s Queretaro F.C. Despite still being contracted to Vancouver and the MLS, the Brazilian striker was photographed in the Mexican club’s kit and took part in training, forcing the Whitecaps to accept defeat in their bid to keep the forward in Canada.

As well as the experienced Kenny Miller, young forwards Omar Salgado, Kekuta Manneh and Darren Mattocks will all be looking to fill the spot in the starting line-up left by Camilo. Viewed as a disaster by many sports betting fans, captain Jay DeMerit has called on the other strikers at the club to stake their claim for a place in the team during pre-season and step into the sizeable boots left by the Brazilian.

“With Camilo being gone, something we have to make these guys understand is there’s a spot open now. A lot of times, when you’re a competitor you look for opportunities to come in and make a difference.”

“With that spot being open, there’s guys that have that chance. Ultimately as a pro you want that chance,” said DeMerit.

Following a disappointing 2013, the Whitecaps fans who bet on soccer had been heading into the new season confident of reaching the play-offs. While that confidence will have been dented following Camilo’s departure, there is still enough talent in this Vancouver squad to improve on their below-par 2013.

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