'Caps pick up 11 contract options, decline eight

Nigel Reo-Coker and Camilo

VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced today that the club has exercised the 2014 contract options on 11 players from their 2013 roster.

Whitecaps FC picked up the options on defenders Jordan Harvey and Carlyle Mitchell, midfielders Aminu Abdallah, Bryce Alderson, Gershon Koffie, Erik Hurtado, Nigel Reo-Coker, Russell Teibert, and Matt Watson, as well as strikers Omar Salgado and Camilo Sanvezzo.

The club now has 19 players under contract for the 2014 season – a Major League Soccer team can have up to 30 players on their first team roster.

“We’re very excited about the core we have in place and the opportunity to build around these players,” said club president Bob Lenarduzzi. “With the combination of young and veteran players in the fold, our 2014 roster is heading in the right direction and we will attempt to strengthen it even further this off-season.”

The club also announced that it has declined the options for goalkeepers Joe Cannon, Brad Knighton, and Simon Thomas, defender Brad Rusin, midfielders Jun Marques Davidson and Daigo Kobayashi, as well as strikers Tommy Heinemann and Corey Hertzog.

“Some degree of roster turnover is expected at this time of year and although we have declined options on certain players, we will continue to have conversations with a couple players about opportunities moving forward," added Lenarduzzi. "We are thankful for the contributions that all of these players made to the club on and off the field."

Cannon, Heinemann, Hertzog, and Knighton will be eligible for the MLS Re-Entry process, which will take place following the MLS Cup. A full list of players available in the Re-Entry Draft will be released by MLS at a later date. The remaining players will be available via waivers.

The following 19 WFC players are under contract for the 2014 season.

Goalkeeper (1): David Ousted

Defenders (5): Sam Adekugbe, Jordan Harvey, Johnny Leveron, Carlyle Mitchell, Andy O’Brien

Midfielders (7): Aminu Abdallah, Bryce Alderson, Gershon Koffie, Erik Hurtado, Nigel Reo-Coker, Russell Teibert, Matt Watson

Strikers (6): Caleb Clarke, Kekuta Manneh, Darren Mattocks, Kenny Miller, Omar Salgado, Camilo Sanvezzo

The following players had their options declined:
Goalkeeper Joe Cannon, 38-years-old, was selected 16th overall by Vancouver in the 2010 Expansion Draft from San Jose Earthquakes. During his three seasons with Whitecaps FC, the native of Sun Valley, Idaho, made 56 MLS regular season appearances, as well as three appearances in the Amway Canadian Championship, recording 12 shutout while posting an overall record of 15W-28L-15D.

Brad Knighton, 28, joined Whitecaps FC in January 2012 following a season with North American Soccer League side Carolina RailHawks. In two seasons with Vancouver, the native of Hickory, North Carolina, posted a record of 13W-7L-7D and eight shutouts.

Goalkeeper Simon Thomas began his career with Whitecaps FC in 2007 after joining the club’s inaugural Residency team. The 23-year-old Victoria, BC, native signed a contract with the first team in February 2013, after a season in England with Huddersfield Town. Last year, Thomas made seven appearances with the reserve team and seven starts with the club’s U-23 side.

Brad Rusin, a 27-year-old out of Crown Point, Indiana, joined Whitecaps FC in January 2013, having last played with Danish club HB Køge. The centre back started 17 of 20 appearances for Vancouver in 2013.

Midfielder Jun Marques Davidson, 30, joined Whitecaps FC in January 2012, after a season with Japanese side Tokushima Vortis. The Tokyo, Japan, native played 4,436 minutes in a total of 54 appearances with the ‘Caps.

Attacking midfielder Daigo Kobayashi, 30, joined the ‘Caps from J-League side Shimizu S-Pulse last January. The Fuji, Japan, native scored three goals and added four assists in 32 appearances during 2013.

Whitecaps FC signed striker Tommy Heinemann, 26, in January 2013 from Columbus Crew. The St. Louis, Missouri, native scored two goals and added one assist in 16 first team appearances with Whitecaps FC this past season.

Corey Hertzog, 23, joined Whitecaps FC in January 2013, following two seasons with New York Red Bulls. The Reading, Pennsylvania native made eight appearances with the club in the 2013 season, scoring two goals and adding one assist, before joining NASL side FC Edmonton on a three-month loan.