VANCOUVER — From No. 1 MLS SuperDraft pick to loaned out to the second-tier United Soccer Leagues: that’s life for Omar Salgado.
The Vancouver Whitecaps’ first-ever SuperDraft selection (first overall) in their inaugural 2011 season, the 20-year-old Salgado has since endured two injury-marred seasons. On Friday, the 6-4 forward was sent out on loan to the Charleston Battery.
There, the Texas native will join five other Caps players who are part of an affiliate arrangement between the two clubs.
“Omar is a young player with a lot of potential and this loan is a natural step following two seasons with limited playing time,” Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson said in a statement. “Our partnership with the Battery provides the opportunity for Omar to earn first-team minutes, with a number of his peers, during this stretch of our MLS season.”
Salgado made 14 appearances for the Caps in his 2011 rookie season, but has been limited to just seven appearances the last two seasons as he’s struggled with a broken foot.
Finally healthy this year, Salgado hasn’t been able to find playing time with strikers like Kenny MIller and Darren Mattocks and wingers like Sebastian Fernandez, Kekuta Manneh, Nicolas Mezquida and Erik Hurtado ahead of him in the pecking order.
Salgado will join midfielders Aminu Abdallah and Andre Lewis and striker Mamadou Diouf from the Whitecaps senior roster, in addition to Under-18 defender Jackson Farmer and Under-23 striker Marlon Ramirez, in Charleston. Whitecaps MLS SuperDraft picks Adam Mena and Michael Kafari are also members of the Battery, who open their 2014 USL PRO campaign on Saturday against Orlando City SC.
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