Whitecaps pick up contract options on six players but roster questions remain

VANCOUVER - The Vancouver Whitecaps have picked up the contract options of seven players including captain Kendall Waston, but questions remain over the MLS team's roster.

The Whitecaps, who have 19 players under contract next season, are not exercising the options on 12 other players, including injured designated player Matias Laba, but say talks continue with many of them.

Defenders Sam Adekugbe, Marcel de Jong, Brett Levis, Jake Nerwinski, Tim Parker and Waston, as well as midfielder Tony Tchani, did have their options picked up.

"We're trying to build," head coach Carl Robinson said. "We have a core group of players that we're very excited about but we are in a salary-cap league so we have to make some tough decisions. Some are easy and some aren't."

The Whitecaps (15-12-7) led the Western Conference for a time before finishing third. They were eliminated 2-0 on aggregate by the Seattle Sounders in the conference semifinal.

Defender Jordan Harvey and midfielder Andrew Jacobson are eligible for free agency. Striker Fredy Montero's season-long loan from China's Tianjin Teda has expired. Vancouver retains his MLS rights.

Options were declined on goalkeeper David Ousted, defenders David Edgar, Cole Seiler and Sheanon Williams, midfielders Christian Bolanos, Marco Bustos, Nosa Igiebor, Ben McKendry, Mauro Rosales, Russell Teibert and Laba, and striker Kyle Greig.

Laba is recovering from knee surgery.

Robinson says the team is still in talks with Harvey, Jacobson, Laba, Montero, Bolanos, Bustos, Edgar, Igiebor and Teibert.

That leaves Ousted, Seiler, Williams, McKendry, Rosales and Greig out in the cold, some of whom already knew what was coming.

"We are also thankful to all the players who are moving on," Robinson said. "Every single one of these players gave their all to this club during their time here and we wish them all the best."

Edgar, Greig and Seiler will be eligible for the MLS waiver draft. Laba, McKendry, Ousted, Rosales, Teibert and Williams will be eligible for the MLS re-entry process, unless they opt out or sign a new deal.

The waiver draft is scheduled for Dec. 13 while the re-entry draft goes Dec. 15 and Dec. 21.


Vancouver players currently under contract for the 2018 season:

Goalkeepers: Stefan Marinovic, Spencer Richey.

Defenders: Sam Adekugbe, Marcel de Jong, Brett Levis, Aaron Maund, Jake Nerwinski, Tim Parker, Kendall Waston.

Midfielders: Alphonso Davies, Deybi Flores, Aly Ghazal, Nicolas Mezquida, Yordy Reyna, Tony Tchani, Cristian Techera.

Forwards: Erik Hurtado, Bernie Ibini, Brek Shea.

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