'Mr Clutch' Jason Jordan done with Whitecaps - The Province

Marc Weber
The Province

Friday, December 19, 2008

Jason Jordan makes a quiet exit from the Whitecaps today, but for a long time -- and not too long ago -- his game spoke loudly.

The club will announce today that it will not pick up the option on Jordan's contract. He was used sparingly by head coach Teitur Thordarson last season and the 30-year-old forward from Richmond said Thursday he didn't want to return anyway.

Retirement is all but a certainty for Jordan, who, in 12 seasons with Vancouver, scored 78 goals, third all-time in club history behind John Catliff (79) and the late Domenic Mobilio (170).

"I'm 98 per cent sure that it's the end of the road, but right now I'm just going to enjoy the holidays with my family," said Jordan, who in 2002 turned down a contract offer from the Colorado Rapids of MLS to remain in Vancouver.

"It was a great time, and I wouldn't have wanted to play anywhere else. I'd like to say thank you to the club for giving me 12 years."

A nagging big toe injury likely robbed Jordan of another stellar season or two after winning league MVP honours in 2005. He hasn't been fully fit since his first surgery in 2006.

The striker netted a career-best 17 goals in '05, including seven in a two-game stretch. It was the fifth straight season he'd led the team in scoring and it earned him a second Canadian camp call-up, though he was never capped at the senior level.

"He was just Mr. Clutch," said longtime teammate Alfredo Valente, who was released earlier this month.

"He was knocked for his work ethic, but he was a deceiving guy, how he got into goal scoring positions."

Jordan played 867 minutes in 2008, scoring twice.

"It was a difficult year for me both mentally and physically," he said.

He only played 30 minutes in the playoffs, but set up a key 2-0 goal in the first leg against Minnesota.

© The Vancouver Province 2008