Whitecaps, midfielder Efrain Juarez 'mutually agree' to part ways

VANCOUVER - The Vancouver Whitecaps have made yet another roster change, terminating a contract with midfielder Efrain Juarez.

The Major League Soccer club announced the move in a statement Friday, saying the decision to part ways was "mutual."

Juarez did not travel with the team to Hawaii for training camp and was not at training in Vancouver on Thursday.

The 30-year-old Mexican national signed on with the 'Caps last season after playing in Mexico, Spain and Scotland.

He appeared in 16 games for Vancouver, registering two assists.

Juarez was known as a fiery player who couldn't always contain his passion on the field, and was handed suspensions after amassing two red cards and four yellows.

"We are thankful to Efrain for his time with the club and we wish him all the best," Greg Anderson, the Whitecaps' vice president of soccer operations, said in a statement.

Juarez is one of 19 departing players from last year's team.

To help bolster the ranks, the 'Caps have signed 11 new faces since early December, including Tunisian centre back Jasser Khmiri.

The 21-year-old defender has signed a three-year deal with the MLS squad with a club option for 2022. He is the first Tunisian to sign in MLS.

Khmiri has been called up the Tunisian national team three times in the past year. He has 38 appearances in three-plus years with Tunisian Ligue Professionnelle 1 club Stade Tunisien.

"Jasser is a player who caught our eye thanks to his strong performances with the Tunisian U-21 national team,'' Whitecaps head coach Marc Dos Santos said in a statement. "He's six-foot-four, he has very good speed, and he's comfortable with the ball, which are all qualities we are looking for in a centre back. At 21 years old, we believe Jasser has a tremendous upside and that he can become an important player for this club.''

The Whitecaps' training camp shifted to Hawaii on Friday as the club continues preparations for its season opener on March 2.

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