By BOB MACKIN, 24 HOURS
Call it Blue Monday for Vancouver Whitecaps' fans.
The USL's First Division champions cut their core trio of veterans Jeff Clarke, Steve Kindel and Alfredo Valente for "philosophical differences" according to president Bob Lenarduzzi.
"We're making the decisions based on the here and the now, we don't really want to get into the differences," Lenarduzzi said.
Defender/midfielders Clarke and Kindel, both 31, were free agents. The 'Caps decided not to exercise Valente's 2009 option. All three players began their careers as Vancouver Eighty-Sixers.
New Westminster-born Clarke played eight seasons for Vancouver and captained the club to the 2006 and 2008 league championships. Burnaby-born Kindel played 287 games over 10 seasons. Vancouver midfielder Valente, 28, was drafted in 1998 and played 11 seasons.
All three are active in community soccer. Valente is head coach of Coquitlam Metro-Ford Soccer Club, while Kindel (Dunbar Soccer Association) and Clarke (Guildford Athletic Club) are technical directors. None could be reached for comment before 24 hours' deadline.