Lost in all of the news surrounding Canucks head coach John Tortorella, and to quote Don Taylor, the “brew-haha” that ensued on Saturday’s tilt with the Calgary Flames, are that the Vancouver Whitecaps are finally starting to put their squad together for the upcoming MLS season.
On Monday, the Whitecaps started off the post-Camilo era with their first big signing of the off- season. Captain Jay DeMerit, whose contract expired at the end of last season, was re-signed by manager Carl Robinson. The details of the contract have not been disclosed.
DeMerit first arrived in Vancouver as a free agent back in the fall of 2010 where he became the club’s first ever MLS signing and first ever Captain.
After an injury-plagued first season in Vancouver, DeMerit went on to become an MLS all-star in his second season as Whitecaps Captain and led the team to their first ever MLS playoff-birth. Last season, DeMerit missed the majority of the season, due to a ruptured Achilles tendon sustained in the opening game of the season. His return to the lineup last season was doubtful, but after an extensive rehab period, DeMerit was able to fight his way back into the lineup at the back-end of the season to play in six matches.
Why should Whitecaps fans be excited about re-signing DeMerit?
Not only can DeMerit help out a team that struggled to hold onto leads late in games last year, but he brings a certain passion and fire to the team that fans, players and coaches love to see. He has proven that, unlike some people, he actually wants to play for this club. He is not one to kiss the badge and leave.
“When I came to Vancouver three years ago as the club’s first signing, we had a shared vision and commitment to making this club a successful one both on and off the field,” DeMerit said in a statement.
“I’m thrilled to be a part of this team and this organization. Vancouver has always felt like home and together with my wife, we have a sense of purpose and belonging here in B.C. The fans of this club have always been tremendous. They deserve to have success and they deserve players who reflect the loyalty that they show us.”
Thank you, Captain!
The final two rounds of the MLS SuperDraft took place Tuesday and the Whitecaps were a fairly busy bunch.
Prior to making their last selections, the club traded their third round pick in the draft to the Columbus Crew in exchange for an international roster spot. Perhaps there is a signing on the way soon?
Whitecaps last three selections:
- Michael Kafari: 22-years-old – Midfielder – University of New Mexico Lobos
- Mackenzie Pridham: 23-years-old – Striker – California Polytechnic State University Mustangs – Native of Toronto, Ontario
- Michael Calderon: 25-years-old – Midfielder – University of New Mexico Lobos
Lastly, according to ESPN FC, one of the Whitecaps’ first round selections in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft, Andre Lewis, will be on-loan to Vancouver from the NASL’s New York Cosmos.
Image: Vancouver Whitecaps FC