Matt Watson (Geordie Irving)
Geordie Irving

Matt Watson obtains United States green card

Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced today that midfielder Matt Watson has obtained his permanent residency status (green card) from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. With the acquisition of his green card, the English native is now considered a domestic player in Major League Soccer (MLS) and will no longer occupy an international spot on Vancouver’s roster.

Whitecaps FC acquired an additional international roster spot from Colorado Rapids in January, bringing their total number of spots available for the 2012 season to 10. As a result of Watson’s domestic status, the number of ‘Caps players currently occupying international roster spots stands at 10.

Watson joined Whitecaps FC on December 16, 2011, after spending four seasons with North American Soccer League (NASL) outfit Carolina RailHawks. During his time in Carolina, Watson scored eight goals and registered 11 assists and ranks second all-time in club history with 107 appearances for the North Carolina-based outfit.

Whitecaps FC also announced today that the club have waived midfielder Lee Nguyen.

Nguyen, 25, joined Whitecaps FC last December via the Major League Soccer weighted Lottery process. Prior to joining Vancouver, the native of McKinney, Texas, played the last three seasons in the Vietnamese V-League.

Major League Soccer roster compliance deadline

The deadline for all Major League Soccer clubs to be roster compliant is today at 2 p.m. PT. While a club may continue to add or release players from their roster or training camp, the club’s official roster – players under contract - must remain within the MLS roster guidelines.

CLICK HERE for the 2012 Roster Rules and Regulations.

Players waived today will be a part of Friday’s Waiver Draft at 12 p.m. PT. Clubs that select a player who is not currently under contract during the Waiver Draft will be required to offer that player a contract. Clubs may not claim the right of first refusal for a player through waivers.

Players eligible for the Waiver Draft do include:
· Players whose clubs have not exercised their 2012 contract options
· Players who have not been signed to a new contract
· Players whose clubs do not plan on signing them to a new contract

As of the first Monday in June, all drafted players selected in the 2012 SuperDraft or Supplemental Draft must either have been signed to an MLS contract or have been placed on waivers. Any drafted player who has refused an MLS contract or who has refused to report to the team to be evaluated does not need to be placed on waivers and may remain on the club’s College Protected List. If a player is not claimed by another MLS club as part of the June Waiver Draft, he will be placed onto his drafting club’s College Protected List until the second December 31 immediately following the June Waiver Draft.

Whitecaps FC 2012 Major League Soccer season tickets start at $329, plus applicable tax and a $10 processing fee per order. To secure a seat and for additional information about Whitecaps FC MLS season tickets, including loge seats and suites, call 604.669.9283 or visit