Whitecaps FC sign centre back Ranko Veselinović to contract extension through 2026

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VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced on Wednesday that centre back Ranko Veselinović has agreed to a contract extension through 2026, with a club option for 2027.

“Ranko has made tremendous strides since joining our club in 2020 and has been a staple in our backline over the last three plus years,” said Axel Schuster, Whitecaps FC sporting director. “Still only 24 years old, Ranko has already played more than 100 games for our club, 15th most in our MLS era. We are pleased that we were able to reach an agreement and we now look forward to seeing him continue his growth as a leader in our group on and off the pitch as he helps us achieve our goals for this year and beyond.”

Whitecaps FC defender Ranko Veselinović

  • Named vice-captain at the start of the 2023 season
  • Two-time Canadian Championship winner in 2022 and 2023
  • Leads the club with the most starts with 101 and games played with 109 since 2020
  • One of four players in MLS to record at least 400 clearances and 80 blocks since 2020

"I feel at home here in Vancouver,” added Veselinović. “The entire club and all the supporters have been very welcoming since I arrived and I'm excited to extend my stay here at Whitecaps FC. The goal is to continue to build on our strong performances and results in league and cup play, secure a spot in the playoffs, and ultimately win an MLS Cup for this city."

Veselinović, 24, originally joined the club in February 2020 on a one-year loan from Serbian SuperLiga club FK Vojvodina and was later acquired on a permanent transfer. The vice-captain has gone on to start 101 of his 109 appearances across all competitions with the ’Caps, scoring four goals and adding four assists. Since arriving in MLS, Veselinović ranks sixth in the league in both clearances (447) and blocks (83) during the regular season and is one of four players in the league to record at least 400 clearances as well as 80 blocks in that span.

This season, the Serbian international has recorded 28 appearances across all competitions, tallying two goals and an assist. He was also named to the MLS Team of the Matchday for his performance in Matchday 17 against Sporting Kansas City, where he recorded team-high numbers in interceptions (two), tackles won (three), and clearances (five).

Veselinović has also helped the ‘Caps secure back-to-back Canadian Championship titles, starting three matches in the 2022 edition of the tournament and two matches in 2023.

Prior to his arrival in Vancouver, Veselinović had played his entire career with his hometown club FK Vojvodina, where he made his professional debut in 2017 and was named captain in only his third season on the first-team roster. In total, the centre back made 59 league appearances for the side, as well as five appearances in the Serbian Cup.

Internationally, Veselinović has represented his country twice at the senior level, starting a friendly against Dominican Republic in January 2021 and a friendly against the United States in January 2023. He has also represented Serbia at the youth levels.

TRANSACTION: On August 2, 2023, Whitecaps FC sign centre back Ranko Veselinović to a new contract through 2026, with a club option for 2027.