BY DARRELL LOVELL
Nigel Reo-Coker future has finally been settled. Reports late Wednesday night confirmed that the English midfielder has agreed to a move to the Vancouver Whitecaps.
The deal will is for four years and will not be at Designated Player status in the first season. However, performance incentives could push him in that direction after the first season.
The 28-year-old Reo-Coker, whose wife is American, comes to Vancouver with a host of experience under his belt. The midfielder spent 12 years in either the English Premier League or Championship with clubs including Aston Villa, West Ham United and Bolton Wanderers. He reportedly turned down offers in England and Russia to move to MLS.
“I am delighted, it will be a new experience and I can’t wait,” Reo-Coker told Sky Sports ahead of flying to Vancouver. “I have done my research, I have spoken to Shaka Hislop and Robbie Earle, guys I have played with and who are now working and living there and it is a growing industry and thought it was something I should try.”
The move has been in the works for some time but a battle over his discovery rights between the Whitecaps and Portland Timbers, who also had intentions to sign the midfielder for this season, had to be settled. A yet to be announced agreement was struck between the two clubs, however, paving the way for Reo-Coker’s move to Vancouver.
Pending league approval, Reo-Coker is expected to be available for the Whitecaps when the season starts March 2nd against Toronto FC.
Here are some other more news and notes items, and some tournament results to catch you up on all the pre-season action around MLS:
SEATON U.S. Under-17 BID DENIED
D.C. United Homegrown forward Michael Seaton’s US future hit a snag Wednesday when his eligibility was called into question. The forward had accepted a call to join Richie Williams’ U-17 squad that is preparing for World Cup Qualifying. However, since he played for Jamaica earlier in qualifying, Seaton will now have to file a binding one-time switch to be eligible to play for the United States.
Seaton was slated to join the US U-17 squad that was preparing for three friendlies in Panama as a run to World Cup Qualifying. Since he is ineligible for the tournament, he is cap-tied to Jamaica, he was sent back to Florida to re-join the D.C. camp.
PRE-SEASON TOURNAMENT UPDATE
Real Salt Lake and the Seattle Sounders booked their places in the final of the Desert Diamond Cup with wins Wednesday night. Seattle remained undefeated in the tournament notching a 2-0 win over the New York Red Bulls on goals from Alex Caskey and Mario Martinez. In the other match, Alvaro Saborio and Khari Stephenson hit late strikes to give Real Salt Lake a 3-2 win over the New England Revolution.
RSL and Seattle will meet in the final that will air on NBC Sports Saturday at 8PM ET.
In the Portland Pre-Season Tournament, Blas Perez fired home a 16th-minute goal that would stand up as FC Dallas took a 1-0 victory over the host Timbers. In other action, the San Jose Earthquakes used a reserve-heavy lineup in a scoreless draw with AIK. The highlight was Tottenham loanee John Bostock going 62 minutes in the match.