'Caps acquire experienced defender


Vancouver Whitecaps FC announce the signing of defender Shaun Pejic - pending international clearance. Pejic has agreed to a deal for the remainder of the season, plus an option for 2010.

Pejic, 26, joins the Whitecaps from English Conference National side York City FC, where he made 19 appearances in the 2008-09 season. During his spell with the Minstermen, the defender earned a start in the English Football Association Challenge Trophy final at Wembley Stadium on May 9, 2009. In the final, York City lost 2-0 to fellow Conference National side Stevenage Borough FC.

Prior to his time with York City, the 6-foot-2, 185-pound center back played nine seasons with another Conference National side in Wrexham AFC. He first joined the North Wales club as a youth trainee before making his first-team debut as an 18-year-old in a 1-1 draw at Port Vale in English Division Two (now League One) on April 3, 2001. Pejic went on to make nearly 200 appearances for Wrexham between 2001 and 2008, having helped them to promotion from English Division Three (now League Two) in the 2002-03 season and success in the now-defunct Football Association of Wales (FAW) Premier Cup in the 2003-04 season.

Pejic - whose maternal grandparents are Welsh - earned six caps for Wales at the U-21 international level, having made his debut in a 2-1 defeat to Finland on September 6, 2002.

Born in Hereford, England, but raised in Chester, England, Pejic comes from a soccer family, as his father Mel was a former player with English clubs Stoke City, Hereford United, and Wrexham. Currently, his father serves as physiotherapist for Wrexham and the Wales national team. His uncle Mike also had a distinguished playing career with Stoke City, Everton, and Aston Villa, with the former defender earning senior international caps for England as well.

The Whitecaps return to Swangard Stadium this Saturday, August 15, at 7 p.m. PDT to take on Carolina RailHawks. Tickets are available by calling Ticketmaster at 604.280.4400 or by visiting
whitecapsfc.com/tickets.