VANCOUVER, BC - Vancouver Whitecaps FC confirmed on Saturday the club's 2018 opening day roster ahead of Sunday's Major League Soccer regular season opener against Montreal Impact at BC Place (3 p.m. PT - limited tickets available).
The 'Caps, who are roster and budget compliant following the March 1 deadline, are carrying 26 players on their opening day roster, as well as three players away on loan. Two-time MLS all-star striker Kei Kamara and last year's Venezuelan Primera Division leading goalscorer Anthony Blondell highlight an exciting list of 11 offseason additions, including midfielders Felipe Martins, Jordon Mutch, and Efrain Juarez, and backline reinforcements Jose Aja, Doneil Henry, and Sean Franklin.
Whitecaps FC captain and two-time BMO Player of the Year winner Kendall Waston, who agreed to a new contract through 2019 in February, is one of two Designated Players (DP) on the club's roster. Brek Shea will also remain a DP. The DP rule allows teams to acquire up to three players whose total compensation and acquisition costs exceed the maximum budget charge ($504,375 in 2018).
Teams are also able to use Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) on players earning more than the maximum budget charge, provided it is less than $1.5 million. The TAM players on Vancouver's roster are Blondell, Aly Ghazal, Juarez, Kamara, Yordy Reyna, and Cristian Techera.
"We have a number of top-level players on our roster, including some young exciting talent," said Whitecaps FC vice-president of soccer operations Greg Anderson. "The different roster designations allow us to manage the salary cap and ensure we are roster and budget compliant. It is a fluid process, as Carl (Robinson) and I are always looking at avenues to improve our club."
Whitecaps FC also confirmed that Waston and Aja have obtained their U.S. Green Cards and no longer occupy international roster spots. Nine of the club's 10 international roster spots are currently being used.
2018 WHITECAPS FC OPENING DAY ROSTER
GOALKEEPERS (2): Stefan Marinovic+, Brian Rowe
DEFENDERS (8): Jose Aja, Marcel de Jong, Sean Franklin, Doneil Henry, Brett Levis, Aaron Maund, Jake Nerwinski, Kendall Waston^
MIDFIELDERS (12): Alphonso Davies#, Aly Ghazal+, Bernie Ibini+, Efrain Juarez+, Felipe Martins, Nicolas Mezquida+, Jordon Mutch+*, David Norman Jr.#, Yordy Reyna+, Brek Shea^, Cristian Techera+, Russell Teibert#
FORWARDS (4): Myer Bevan, Anthony Blondell+, Erik Hurtado, Kei Kamara
^ Designated Player
# WFC Homegrown
* Pending international transfer certificate