Whitecaps FC announce first roster moves ahead of 2019, exercise seven contract options

VANCOUVER, BC - Vancouver Whitecaps FC confirmed on Monday that the club has exercised the 2019 contract options on seven players.

Goalkeeper Sean Melvin, defenders Doneil Henry and Brett Levis, midfielders Nicolas Mezquida, David Norman Jr. and Yordy Reyna, and striker Erik Hurtado all had their options picked up.

Whitecaps FC have a total of 17 players under contract for next season. Players who were already under contract for 2019 include defenders Marcel de Jong, Jake Nerwinski, and Kendall Waston, midfielders Michael Baldisimo, Simon Colyn, Felipe, Efrain Juarez, and Russell Teibert, as well as strikers Theo Bair and Anthony Blondell.

"This is the first of many offseason moves for the club as we build our roster for the coming season,” said Whitecaps FC head coach Marc Dos Santos. “Every decision we made today and will make in the future is based on our model of play, which defines the type of team we want to be. We’ve had to make a number of tough decisions, and we’re thankful to each of the players moving on for their contributions to the club. We’re excited about the roster flexibility we have as the process of identifying new targets is well underway.”

Meanwhile, the club confirmed it will not exercise the options on goalkeepers Stefan Marinovic and Spencer Richey, defenders Jose Aja, Roberto Dominguez, and Aaron Maund, midfielders Marvin Emnes, Aly Ghazal, and Brek Shea, and striker Myer Bevan.

Goalkeeper Brian Rowe, defender Sean Franklin, midfielder Cristian Techera, and striker Kei Kamara are currently out of contract. Midfielder Jordon Mutch has completed his one-year loan with Whitecaps FC, and is under contract with English Premier League club Crystal Palace FC.

MLS will have a half-day trade window on December 9. The 2018 MLS Expansion Draft will take place on December 11 at 11 a.m. PT. FC Cincinnati may select up to five players from the eligible MLS player pool. Only a single player can be drafted from any one club. Clubs who had a player selected by Los Angeles Football Club in the 2017 MLS Expansion Draft are exempt from having any players selected in 2018.

MLS Free Agency will also begin on December 11 at 12 p.m. PT. The MLS Waiver Draft will take place on December 12 at 1 p.m. PT. Stage One of the MLS Re-Entry Draft will occur on December 14 at 12 p.m. PT, and Stage Two is set for December 20 at 11 a.m. PT.

Visit mlssoccer.com for complete MLS Roster Rules and Regulations. Stay tuned to whitecapsfc.com and follow the club on Twitter and Facebook for the latest news throughout the offseason.

The following 17 Whitecaps FC players are currently under contract for the 2019 season:

Goalkeeper (1): Sean Melvin
Defenders (5): Marcel de Jong, Doneil Henry, Brett Levis, Jake Nerwinski, Kendall Waston
Midfielders (8): Michael Baldisimo, Simon Colyn, Felipe, Efrain Juarez, Nicolas Mezquida, David Norman Jr., Yordy Reyna, Russell Teibert
Strikers (3): Theo Bair, Anthony Blondell, Erik Hurtado