Whitecaps FC announce first roster moves ahead of 2020

VANCOUVER, BC - Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced on Thursday the first roster decisions ahead of the 2020 season and provided an overall roster update.

The club exercised the 2020 contract options for right back Jake Nerwinski, as well as forwards Yordy Reyna and Tosaint Ricketts, and now have a total of 18 players under contract for next season. Players who were already under contract for 2020 include goalkeepers Maxime Crepeau, Thomas Hasal, and Zac MacMath, centre backs Derek Cornelius and Jasser Khmiri, full backs Ali Adnan and Georges Mukumbilwa, midfielders Michael Baldisimo, Simon Colyn, Jon Erice, Inbeom Hwang, Andy Rose, and Russell Teibert, as well as forwards Theo Bair and Fredy Montero.

This week at the WFC National Soccer Development Centre, players under contract for 2020 kicked off a three-week offseason training camp. Cornelius, Crepeau, Reyna, and Teibert, who were away on international duty, will have a mandatory week off before joining their teammates in Vancouver. Meanwhile, internationals Adnan and Hwang, who arrived in Vancouver midway through their previous club’s season, will receive additional time off before joining their country for their FIFA World Cup Qualifiers in November.

Whitecaps FC also confirmed that they are continuing discussions with the following players who are on options for 2020 including fullback/winger Victor "PC" Giro and centre back Doneil Henry, as well as on-loan defender Erik Godoy and winger Michaell Chirinos.

"No question, last year was a difficult season and at the same time an important and necessary step in our rebuilding process," said Whitecaps FC head coach Marc Dos Santos. “Over the last 11 months, we have established a core group of players, we are continuing talks with a select number of players who are on options, and our roster will continue to evolve. We are well underway in the recruitment process of identifying and targeting the right players for the positions we need, with members of our staff travelling throughout the summer and fall to evaluate players.”

In addition, the club also confirmed it will not exercise the options on goalkeeper Sean Melvin, defenders Brendan McDonough, and Scott Sutter, while fullback/winger Brett Levis will not be offered a new contract. On-loan winger Lass Bangoura will return to Spanish club Rayo Vallecano, forward Joaquin Ardaiz will return to Swiss side FC Chiasso, and Chilean side CD Huachipato has exercised their option to acquire on-loan forward Anthony Blondell.

"There are a lot of factors to consider when making roster decisions and it is never simple or easy. We are truly thankful to each of the players who are moving on and wish them all the very best,” added Dos Santos.

Following a 10-week roster freeze, MLS clubs will have the opportunity to participate in a two-and-a-half-day trade window that opens on November 11 (10 a.m. PT), the day after MLS Cup, and closes on November 13 (5 p.m. PT).

The 2019 MLS Expansion Draft will take place on November 19 as Inter Miami CF and Nashville SC may each select up to five players from the eligible MLS player pool - D.C. United, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, New York Red Bulls, and Vancouver Whitecaps FC had a player selected by FC Cincinnati in the 2018 MLS Expansion Draft are exempt from having any players selected in this draft.

Following the Expansion Draft, all clubs will have an additional two days to make final determinations on their roster prior to a November 21 option exercise deadline. On November 22, MLS Communications will release the lists of players eligible for each of the postseason roster mechanisms, including End-of-Year Waivers, Free Agency, and the Re-Entry Process. Visit mlssoccer.com for complete MLS Roster Rules and Regulations.

Stay tuned to whitecapsfc.com and follow the club on Twitter and Facebook for the latest news throughout the offseason. For information on 2020 Whitecaps FC Season Ticket Membership, visit whitecapsfc.com/tickets.

The following 18 Whitecaps FC players are currently under contract for the 2020 season:
Goalkeeper (3): Maxime Crepeau, Thomas Hasal, Zac MacMath
Defenders (5): Ali Adnan, Derek Cornelius, Jasser Khmiri, Georges Mukumbilwa, Jake Nerwinski
Midfielders (6): Michael Baldisimo, Simon Colyn, Jon Erice, Inbeom Hwang, Andy Rose, Russell Teibert
Forwards (4): Theo Bair, Fredy Montero, Yordy Reyna, Tosaint Ricketts