Seattle Sounders’ Andy Rose celebrates scoring against Real Salt Lake during the second half of an MLS soccer match in Seattle on September 12, 2014. The Vancouver Whitecaps have added midfielder Andy Rose to their growing roster.The club says Rose has agreed to a Major League Soccer contract through 2020, and the club will have an option to extend through 2021. (Stephen Brashear/The Canadian Press/AP)

Vancouver Whitecaps lose Kei Kamara, protect 11 players from expansion draft

The club added two goalies, a winger and a midfielder during Major League Soccer’s half-day trade window

The Vancouver Whitecaps have made a flurry of recent trades and signings, and head coach Marc Dos Santos says the process of re-shaping the roster is far from over.

The club added two goalies, a winger and a midfielder during Major League Soccer’s half-day trade window on Sunday, then announced Monday that last year’s leading scorer, Kei Kamara, will not return for the 2019 season.

The Whitecaps said the 34-year-old has opted out of free agency, choosing instead to be eligible for Tuesday’s expansion draft and the league’s re-entry draft on Friday.

“Kei was very important for the club last season,” Dos Santos told reporters on Monday. “But we’re looking again at the big picture, we’re looking at the medium, long-term, what we want to be about. And sometimes it’s tough. Not all the decisions when you move on are easy decisions.”

READ MORE: Canadian Marc Dos Santos gets Vancouver Whitecaps coaching job

Kamara had 14 goals and six assists in 28 games for the ‘Caps last year, his only season with the team. He’s played in the MLS since 2006, with stints in Columbus, San Jose, Houston, Kansas City and New England.

The Whitecaps also released their list of protected players ahead of the expansion draft, which will see the new FC Cincinnati franchise pick athletes for their inaugural season in 2019.

The ‘Caps protected list includes two players the organization picked up in trades on Sunday (‘keeper Zac MacMath and winger Victor (PC) Giro), eight players currently under contract (forwards Anthony Blondell, Erik Hurtado and Yordy Reyna; midfielder Felipe Martins; and defenders Brett Levis, Doneil Henry, Jake Nerwinski and Kendall Waston), and winger Cristian Techera, who the club has extended an offer to.

Another seven players are automatically protected because they are home-grown athletes: forwards Theo Bair, Simon Colyn; midfielders Michael Baldisimo, David Norman Jr. and Russell Teibert; and goalies Maxime Crepeau and Sean Melvin.

Midfielder Andy Rose is also automatically protected because his contract with the Whitecaps does not begin until next season.

The organization announced Monday that it had agreed to a contract with Rose, a 28-year-old England native, through 2020 with a club option for 2021.

Dos Santos noted that just because a player is protected from the expansion draft does not mean he’ll suit up for the Whitecaps in 2019. The coach said he expects the club to use its option to buy out one player and is looking at possibilities.

At least one former Whitecaps is looking for an out. Waston, the team’s captain, publicly stated at the end of the season that he intends to seek a trade and does not want to play in Vancouver again next year.

Dos Santos said he’s spoken with Waston and does not expect him to return.

“At the end of the process with Kendall, we want the club to be in a good position. And I think that will happen,” he said.

The Whitecaps have also lost the offensive efforts of teenage star Alphonso Davies, who was transferred to German soccer giant Bayern Munich in a record-breaking deal at the end of the season.

Dos Santos said the club is looking for someone who can put up points and he expects that talent to come from outside of the MLS because players already in the league aren’t easy to get.

“We have a profile of players that we want to bring,” he said. “We’re looking at different — a lot of different — players from different countries. But now we’re trimming pretty much and we’re hoping we get the right ones here.”

The Whitecaps will get an influx of cash from the Davies deal, but Dos Santos said he’s not looking to spend it all in one place.

“Are we looking at going in a direction of bringing in a player like (L.A. Galaxy’s Zlatan) Ibrahimovic or (Didier) Drogba when he arrived in Montreal? No. Today, no. We’re looking more at the team as a whole and that’s our concern,” he said.

“We’re not looking to invest in one marquee player right now.”

Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey Police’s role in Barnston Island still needs ‘to be looked at’

Surrey RCMP polices unincorporated island a short ferry ride across Parson’s Channel

Surrey looking into reducing residential speed limits

Surrey city council on Feb. 24 approved five ‘key pillars’ of a Surrey Transportation Plan

‘We have to triage’: Surrey teachers stage ‘walk-in’ to support public education

Teachers raising awareness after more than one year at the bargaining table

Suspected drugs, counterfeit cash seized during distracted driving stop: Surrey RCMP

Police said incident happened near 152nd Street and Fraser Highway

Fate of five-district policing model in Surrey rests with new police board

Whalley/City Centre, Guildford/Fleetwood, Newton, Cloverdale, and South Surrey districts formed under McCallum’s watch in 1998

Toddler killed in Squamish grocery store parking lot

Child’s mother taken to hospital but her condition is not known

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

B.C. mother, daughter return home after coronavirus quarantine in Asia

Jensine Morabito and her daughter were on Holland America’s Westerdam but did not catch the virus

Leap Year means we get an extra day in February, so how are you spending it?

People online have a number of suggestions and plans on how they will be spending Saturday

Greta sticker that drew outrage in Alberta not child pornography: RCMP

X-Site Energy Services has denied having anything to do with the stickers

Bald eagle hit by train in northern B.C. has a chance of survival

The raptor has been taken to OWL in the Lower Mainland for recovery

Cheslatta Carrier Nation and Rio Tinto sign a historic agreement

Co-operation crucial to stem dropping Nechako Reservoir level

Hundreds of B.C. firefighters ‘climb the wall’ for BC Lung Association

The charity fundraiser saw participants climbing up 48 storeys

Most Read