Vancouver Whitecaps FC first roster decisions ahead of the 2021 season and provided an overall roster update.
The club exercised the 2021 MLS contract options for goalkeepers Isaac Boehmer and Thomas Hasal, right back Jake Nerwinski, centre back Derek Cornelius, central midfielders Michael Baldisimo and Patrick Metcalfe, as well as forward Theo Bair.
As one of the youngest teams in MLS, Whitecaps FC currently have 25 players under contract for next season including 14 players 23 years old or younger.
“We have built a solid foundation of youth and experience and following significant turn over the past two off-seasons, we are pleased to have the overwhelming majority of our roster returning for 2021,” explained Axel Schuster, Whitecaps FC CEO and sporting director. “This past season, our group grew together, and we established a clear identity. Over the coming weeks and months, we will have additional moves and right now the vast amount of our time is spent working towards adding impact players who will fit our profile and complement our group.”
Whitecaps FC also announced it will not exercise the 2021 contract option on centre back/central midfielder Andy Rose; however, similar to out of contract forward Fredy Montero, the club is continuing discussions with both experienced players. Out of contract goalkeeper Bryan Meredith will not be offered a new contract at this time and will be available for MLS Free Agency. Meanwhile, the club continues to work towards finding a new team for winger David Milinković.
Finally, fullback/winger Georges Mukumbilwa will not have his option exercised and will be eligible for the MLS End-of-Year Waiver process.
“Georges is a hard working player with good character,” added Schuster. “We felt now is the right time for him to find a new team so he can earn regular minutes. We are thankful for his time at the club and we wish him all the best.”
Following MLS Cup and a 45-day roster freeze, clubs will have the opportunity to participate in a four-hour trade window on December 13 from 6 to 10 a.m. PT.
The 2020 MLS Expansion Draft will take place on December 15 as 2021 expansion side Austin FC may select up to five players from the eligible MLS player pool