VANCOUVER, BC - Vancouver Whitecaps FC confirmed on Monday that the club has exercised the 2018 contract options on seven players.
Defenders Sam Adekugbe, Marcel de Jong, Brett Levis, Jake Nerwinski, Tim Parker, and Kendall Waston, as well as midfielder Tony Tchani all had their options picked up bringing the total number of players under contract for next season to 19.
"We have a solid core group of players, which I’m excited to have returning," said Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson. "Obviously we are looking to strengthen and add extra pieces, whether that’s with players we are renegotiating with, as well as players from outside of our club. It’s important we put a bit of freshness into the group, as well as keeping the core, and I think we have a good balance as we move forward to 2018."
Meanwhile, the club also confirmed it will not exercise the options on goalkeeper David Ousted, defenders David Edgar, Cole Seiler, Sheanon Williams, midfielders Christian Bolaños, Marco Bustos, Nosa Igiebor, Matías Laba, Ben McKendry, Mauro Rosales, Russell Teibert, as well as striker Kyle Greig.
Per MLS roster rules and regulations, Greig, and Seiler will be eligible for the MLS Waiver Draft, while Laba, McKendry, Ousted, Rosales, Teibert, and Williams will be eligible for the MLS Re-Entry Process, unless they opt out or sign a new deal. The Waiver Draft will take place on December 13 at 12:30 p.m. PT, Stage One of the Re-Entry Draft will occur on December 15 at 12 p.m. PT, and Stage Two is set for December 21 at 11 a.m. PT.
Defender Jordan Harvey and midfielder Andrew Jacobson are eligible for Free Agency, while striker Fredy Montero, who finished his one-year loan with Vancouver, is currently under contract with Chinese Super League club Tianjin Teda. Whitecaps FC maintain Montero’s MLS rights.
"We are still in talks with both free agents in Jordan and AJ, as well as Christian (Bolanos), Marco, David (Edgar), Fredy, Matías, Nosa, and Russell,” added Robinson. “We are also thankful to all the players who are moving on. Every single one of these players gave their all to this club during their time here and we wish them all the best.”
MLS will have a half-day trade window on December 10. The 2017 MLS Expansion Draft will take place on December 12 at 11 a.m. PT. Los Angeles FC may select up to five players from the eligible MLS player pool. Only a single player can be drafted from any one club.
MLS Free Agency will also begin on December 12 at 12 p.m. PT. Out of contract and option declined players that were at least 28 years old during the 2017 season and have at least eight years of MLS service are eligible for Free Agency.
Stay tuned to whitecapsfc.com and follow the club on Twitter and Facebook for the latest news throughout the offseason.
The following 19 Whitecaps FC players are currently under contract for the 2018 season:
Goalkeepers (2): Stefan Marinović, Spencer Richey^
Fullbacks (4): Sam Adekugbe, Marcel de Jong, Brett Levis, Jake Nerwinski
Centre backs (3): Aaron Maund, Tim Parker, Kendall Waston
Central midfielder (3): Deybi Flores*, Aly Ghazal, Tony Tchani
Attacking midfielder/Wingers (4): Alphonso Davies, Nicolás Mezquida, Yordy Reyna, Cristian Techera
Wingers/Strikers (3): Erik Hurtado, Bernie Ibini, Brek Shea
^On loan with USL side FC Cincinnati through December 31, 2018
*On loan with Honduran Liga Nacional side Club Deportivo Motagua through June 30, 2018