Whitecaps re-sign captain DeMerit
Vancouver Whitecaps Jay DeMerit heads the ball against the Houston Dynamo during the first half of their MLS soccer game in Vancouver, British Columbia June 10, 2012. (REUTERS/Ben Nelms)
The captain is back for the Vancouver Whitecaps.
With less than a week to go until the opening of training camp, the club announced Monday they have re-signed Jay DeMerit.
The defender, whose contract expired after last year, enter his fourth campaign with the ‘Caps, having been on the team since their inaugural season.
In an off-season of more downs than ups, this is at least positive news and some solidarity for the Whitecaps. It also leaves them with five centre backs, while the right back void remains empty with plenty of other holes left to fill.
However, locking up their leader for another year is a start.
"With the strong nucleus we have created over the past few years, together with the young talent we will help grow, I believe the future of this club is bright and I look forward to being a part of it,” DeMerit said.
The 34-year-old spent most of 2013 on the sidelines after suffering a torn Achilles tendon in the opening match. He finished the season with eight appearances to give him 60 in total over the three years with Vancouver.
Head coach Carl Robinson said the Wisconsin native would continue to play an important part in the Whitecaps' backfield.
“He’s a total leader, and he's someone who we had every intention of bringing back," said the ‘Caps new bench boss. "His dedication and professionalism were on full display last season when he returned from a serious injury earlier than expected and proved that he could still compete at a high level. The experience, energy, and standards Jay brings to our group is second to none."