Another integral piece on the Vancouver Whitecaps FC backline has been locked into a contract extension.
The club announced on Tuesday that left back Marcel de Jong has agreed to a contract that would keep the long-time Canadian international with Vancouver through 2019, with an option for 2020.
Along with captain Kendall Waston and second-year right back Jake Nerwinski, de Jong is the third ‘Caps defender in the last four months to sign an extension through at least the end of next season.
“Since his first day with the club, Marcel has been the consummate professional,” said head coach Carl Robinson. “He’s a competitor, he sets the standard at training, and we’ve seen the results on the pitch. Marcel and his family have embraced Vancouver and this club and we are thrilled to have Marcel agree.”
“I am thankful to Whitecaps FC for their continued support and belief in me,” added de Jong. “Vancouver is home for my family and I will keep doing everything in my power for this amazing club and city. Also, a special thanks to our amazing fans, your support means the world to us.”
De Jong, 31, emerged last season as a regular contributor on a ‘Caps side that enjoyed one of their best finishes in MLS. Since signing as a free agent in July 2017, de Jong has made 31 starts in 37 appearances with three assists for Whitecaps FC across all competitions, including starting all three 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs matches.
This season, de Jong has started eight of 11 matches. A steady presence and key initiator from the ‘Caps backline, he leads the club with 18 interceptions, is third with 13 tackles won, and third with 59 passes into the final third.
Born in Newmarket, Ontario, de Jong has 55 caps and three goals for the Canadian men’s national team.
Prior to his arrival in Vancouver, de Jong began his professional career in his adopted home country of the Netherlands, then spent six years in Germany. He moved back to North America in 2015 with Sporting Kansas City, and then the first half of 2016 with NASL side Ottawa Fury FC.