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Ex-Toronto midfielder Laba to step into Vancouver Whitecaps' engine room

Vancouver Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson suggests that new recruit Matias Laba will take up a bit of the team's dirty work in 2014.

The 22-year old Argentine defensive midfielder joined the Whitecaps from Canadian rivals Toronto FC late last month and immediately has been identified as the man to step into the holding role in front of the back four.

Laba performed well in a 35-minute cameo in the 1-1 draw with Portland Timbers at the Rose City Invitational on the weekend and Robinson has indicated that he will be the man to get his hands dirty in a very important midfield role.

"Midfield is the engine room of the team and where games are won and lost," Robinson said recently.

"You can see what he's about," Robinson added of Laba.

"He hunts the ball. He wins the ball. He does the not-so-pleasant jobs.

"The way we're going to play this year, you need a guy who tactically understands the game, and he does."

Former Argentinos Juniors man Laba made 17 appearances for Toronto last season but was traded to Vancouver on February 25 after the Reds brought in a number of new players including Michael Bradley, Jermain Defoe, Dwayne De Rosario, Gilberto and Bradley Orr.

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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