Veselinovic signed - rotator

VANCOUVER, BC - Vancouver Whitecaps FC confirmed on Sunday that the club has acquired 21-year-old centre back Ranko Veselinović on a permanent transfer from Serbian SuperLiga club FK Vojvodina and is signed through 2023.

Veselinović originally joined Whitecaps FC on loan with the use of Allocation Money back in February. The agreement included an automatic transfer on his 12th MLS regular season starts, which Veselinović makes tonight as the ‘Caps take on LA Galaxy at Dignity Health Sports Park. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. PT and available live on TSN 1/4 and TSN 1040.

“Last winter, during the recruitment process of bringing Ranko to Vancouver, we structured the agreement to provide roster flexibility and at the same time we fully expected him to be a long-term member of our club.” said Axel Schuster, Whitecaps FC sporting director and chief executive officer. “Throughout this very challenging year, Ranko has adapted extremely well and has been a great addition to our club. We are excited to have him as a member of our club for the next number of years.”

Veselinović is one of only four centre backs in MLS aged 21 or under with 10 or more starts on the season. The 6-foot-2 defender leads the club with 49 clearances and 19 blocks in regular season play, which is tied for second most in MLS. Veselinović is set to make his 15th appearance and 13th start across all competitions, both tops among ‘Caps centre backs.

“When we first acquired Ranko, we knew about his qualities on the pitch and over the last eight months we have learned about the man off the pitch,” added Marc Dos Santos, Whitecaps FC head coach. “As a young centre back, he shows a lot of maturity, as well as a willingness to learn. We are excited to continue to work with Ranko and help with his development and progression.”

Prior to his arrival in Vancouver, Veselinović had played his entire career with his hometown club FK Vojvodina of the Serbian SuperLiga, where he made his professional debut in 2017, then was named captain in only his third season on the first-team roster.

Internationally, Veselinović has represented his country at the U-16, U-17, U-18, U-19, and U-21 levels.

TRANSACTION: On October 18, 2020, Vancouver Whitecaps FC acquired Ranko Veselinović on a permanent transfer from Serbian SuperLiga club FK Vojvodina and is signed through 2023.