Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced today the re-signing of defender/midfielder Takashi Hirano, as well as midfielders Justin Moose and Nizar Khalfan. All three players have agreed to one-year contracts - plus an option. The Whitecaps also announced that they will not exercise the 2010 contract options on defender/midfielders Chris Pozniak and Nadir Haroub Ali.
Hirano, 35-years-old, returns for a third season with the 'Caps after a successful first two years in Vancouver. A regular at left fullback for Teitur Thordarson's squad, the native of Shimizu City, Japan, made 38 appearances in all competitions for a total of 3,248 minutes of action during the 2009 campaign. Hirano's minutes total was the most among all Whitecaps outfield players during the season. The 5-foot-11, 160-pound veteran was named the club's Outstanding Defender of 2009 for his play in the Whitecaps backline, with the fullback also recording three assists during the season. In all, the former Japanese international has appeared in 68 Whitecaps matches over the past two seasons.
Moose, 25-years-old, also returns for his third season with the Whitecaps after enduring an injury-plagued 2009 campaign. The native of Statesville, North Carolina, made just 15 appearances for 484 minutes of action, with the winger appearing in half the number of matches that he played during his first year in Vancouver. During the club's United Soccer Leagues First Division (USL-1) championship season of 2008, the former Wake Forest University star appeared in 30 games for 1,892 minutes of action, scoring two goals and recording five assists last year. Before joining the 'Caps, the 5-foot-7, 150-pound midfielder spent two years in Major League Soccer with D.C. United.
Khalfan, 21-years-old, will enter his first full season with the Whitecaps in 2010 after coming to Vancouver from Tanzanian Premier League club Moro United for an undisclosed financial amount on August 13. Playing primarily in the middle or on the right-hand side of midfield, the native of Mtwara, Tanzania, started nine of his 14 Whitecaps appearances for 729 minutes of action. This included five appearances and one start during the club's playoff run to the 2009 USL-1 Championship Series.
Pozniak, 28-years-old, leaves the Whitecaps after completing his second spell with the club. The native of North York, Ontario, made 14 appearances for the 'Caps after re-signing with Vancouver on July 30. During his first Whitecaps spell in 2008, the defender/midfielder played in nine matches before moving to Scottish First Division club Dundee FC.
Ali, 26-years-old, returns to his parent club in Tanzanian Premier League outfit Young Africans FC after completing a loan spell with the 'Caps. The 5-foot-10, 150-pound native of Michenzani, Zanzibar, did not make a single appearance for the Whitecaps men's team during his short stay in Vancouver.
Whitecaps 2010 season tickets are now on sale. Season tickets include all men’s and women's team regular season and playoff home matches at Swangard Stadium, Nutrilite Canadian Championship home matches against Toronto FC and Montreal Impact, as well as priority listing for Vancouver MLS 2011 in BC Place. For more information on our 2010 season ticket packages, call 604.669.WAVE (9283) or click here.
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