VANCOUVER, BC – Andrew Jacobson is coming home. Sort of.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced on Friday that the club has acquired Jacobson from New York City FC in exchange for targeted allocation money. The 30-year-old midfielder was born in Florida, before moving to Palo Alto, California at the age of seven.
His wife is also from California.
She actually holds Canadian citizenship, though, since her mom was born here. And both Jacobson and his wife have family in and around Vancouver.
So you can understand why this feels like a homecoming of sorts for the seven-year MLS veteran.
“This is a perfect move for us,” Jacobson told whitecapsfc.com “We love Vancouver.”
“This is a perfect move for us. We love Vancouver." - Jacobson
He’s also high on Whitecaps FC.
Jacobson referred to the ‘Caps as a “top-class club with a great coach, a lot of young talent and a very good reputation” around MLS.
He would know.
The 6-foot-2 central midfielder has been in the league since 2009, spending time with D.C. United, Philadelphia Union, FC Dallas, and most recently NYCFC.
Turns out Jacobson actually requested a trade from NYCFC to move closer to home. He expressed sincere gratitude towards them for accommodating. They wanted to keep him.
It’s easy to see why.
Last year, Jacobson led the expansion side in minutes, starts, appearances, successful passes, touches, tackles, and duels won, according to Opta.
Not too shabby.
“He plays simple, smart, and effective,” said Whitecaps FC defender Jordan Harvey, a fellow Californian who played with Jacobson at Philadelphia Union in 2010. “I think that’s exactly what we need in the midfield right now.”
Jacobson swerves one in from distance
Jacobson is a versatile midfielder who can play as a box-to-box player or in a holding role. He can even play at centre back.
But Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson said he sees him primarily as a box-to-box midfielder – someone who can add some depth and experience to a young group of players that includes Canadians Kianz Froese and Russell Teibert, as well as 19-year-old Honduran Deybi Flores.
All three players could miss time due to international duty this season, while Teibert is currently dealing with an injury and Robinson said there’s no timeline for his return as of yet.
With that in mind, not to mention the fact that the ‘Caps will once again be competing in the Amway Canadian Championship and CONCACAF Champions League in addition to MLS play, Robinson said acquiring Jacobson was a “no-brainer.”
Teibert’s injury added some urgency, Robinson said, but Jacobson was a player they targeted at the end of last year.
“He’s a big boy, over six foot, and I think what people probably don’t realize is when he came to play us with NYCFC last year … they played a 4-3-3 and he played as an advanced midfield player with Frank Lampard,” said Robinson, who received a glowing reference on Jacobson from former Whitecaps FC midfielder Mehdi Ballouchy. “His football IQ is very, very strong. He’s a very good footballer as well as being a competitor.”
For his part, Jacobson said he’s happy to adapt to whatever role is needed to help the team win. That last part is an important one to note. He’s not here to put his feet up.
He’s here to win.
“Every day I’m going to show up and do whatever I can to help the team win and make the players around me better,” he said. “I really feel like I can come and win an MLS Cup here, which is the most important thing to me. I want to win and I want to look back on my career when I’m older and have that MLS Cup experience and I think I can get that in Vancouver.”