Whitecaps Defender Greg Klazura patiently waits for playing time

Posted: February 18, 2013 in Uncategorized

VANCOUVER, B.C – The Vancouver Whitecaps have an abundance of defenders ready for selection this season. The most familiar names on the back line are no spring chickens, and as a result the Whitecaps are preparing others to potentially have a big role on the team once players like Y.P. Lee retire. Greg Klazura is one of those young defenders who is hoping to make a big impression on the club in 2013.

Klazura, hails from Rockford, Illinois, and spent 5 seasons playing NCAA Soccer for Notre Dame. The Whitecaps drafted Klazura in the second-round of the MLS supplemental draft is 2012. It was thought that Klazura would earn some sort of playing time with the first team last season but that just didn’t happen. With a crowded cast of defenders currently with the Whitecaps, Klazura has a tough hill time climb in order to earn his first MLS appearance.

Klazura is most suited to play LB, or RB, and with the Whitecaps committing to give 35 year-old Y.P. Lee more rest this season Klazura is a perfect candidate to step into the lineup for the popular South Korean right-back.

“Obviously he’s coming in as a returning starter, and I have nothing but respect for Y.P. but if he needs a break then I’m hoping I’m given the opportunity to fulfil that role.”

Whitecaps Coach Martin Rennie talked about the positive training camp Klazura has had thus far.

“I think Greg’s one of those players who everyday works hard, everyday shows a good attitude, and has become a better, and better player since he’s been with the club. He’s improved over the time here, and he’s someone I really like. He’s a very good person in the locker room, he encourages the other guys and he plays a really important role on our team, and I think that he can play left-back, and right-back, and do both jobs well.  He’s someone you can rely on, and he’s got really good character, and I think that’s very important, and we enjoy having him around.”

With strong praise like that, Klazura sounds like he should be a lock to see the pitch when Y.P. Lee does require some rest.

“Ya I think he’d definitely be a candidate you know it’s a little far away for us to decide on that just now, but he would definitely be a candidate for that.”

Greg Klazura fitness is among the best on the Whitecaps. Klazura finished 2nd during the teams annual beep test. Only Jordan Harvey who skipped a few turns did better. Being healthy and having a top-level of fitness will be key advantage for the 24 year-old. Hopefully Klazura’s peak fitness will help him earn some MLS minutes this season, and a far less frustrating campaign.

“Oh yea of course, any athlete, any player will tell you when they’re not getting minutes. It’s frustrating but it’s part of being an athlete, and it’s part of being a professional soccer player so you’ve just got to deal with it.”

Klazura was part of a twitter explosion when the Whitecaps trained Arizona earlier this month. Klazura made quite an interesting facial expression which in turn had Whitecaps fan Cam MacKinnon (@C_MacKinnon) create a meme honouring Klazura. The meme that MacKinnon created spread like wildfire on twitter and several others were created by other Whitecaps fans.

You can check out all the #KlazuraFace Memes here – http://www.whitecapsfc.com/news/2013/02/klazuraface-catches  Klazura has seen all of the memes and he tells me his favourite one is “Just got accepted to Hogwarts.”

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