Under-17 World Cup

MLS Ticker: Reo-Coker to join Whitecaps, Seaton U.S. future in question, and more


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:


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.


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.

    • Travis in Miami

      Was thinking the same thing. At 17 to have to make such a decision. I guess for the moment he can not take the US invite, continue develop in at DC and with Jamaica until it becomes more clear if he can be in the mix for the US senior squad – if not he can still get international soccer in Jamaica (assuming his development takes him that far). Still sucks at this point.


    • DC Josh

      He has said in a recent interview that he does not want to make a decision on Jamaica or USA for some time. He is only 16 years old. So, it will be interesting how he reacts to this.

      A flaw in FIFA’s rules would allow him to represent Jamaica at the U-17 World Cup and then switch to USA permanently afterwards, as long as he doesn’t get capped by the Jamaican full team. Such stupid rules.


      • fischy

        That’s a flaw? FIFA doesn’t force a 16 year old to decide what country he will permanently represent, and you think that’s a flaw?

        I’m really excited that Seaton is considering the USA. Watching him in preseason, it’s clear that he’s a very impressive specimen physically.Just a big kid, and he can move well. He’s also not doing that badly for someone that’s making the transition from USSDA U-16 play to the pros. One to watch, and I hope we’ll be seeing him in the USA kit.


      • Jake

        I agree. Its not a flaw. There are many other parts of FIFA that are far far more flawed!


    • The Imperative Voice

      I don’t see how it sucks to have played international soccer for pretty much anyone. Since he accepted the Jamaican call and played, it’s self-inflicted. If he wanted to play here without complications, there is the word, “No.”


    • Josh D

      It’s sad they have to make such big decision early on. I think up to the u20s, you should bounce around. However, I think the tie-up here is that he already played a qualifier for the tournament for Jamaica NOT that he has to make such a big decision now.

      Brooks has played for the US and Germany at the u20 level. I’m not sure what the difference is here.


  • Hogatroge

    While my Dynamo have had some stinkers against Vancouver in the last few years, I’m glad this got sorted out for them.

    Bringing in players like Reo-Coker in their prime (even if his star has fallen quite a bit) makes MLS better as a whole.


    • The Imperative Voice

      First, is there any truth to the rumor that Reo-Coker, whose wife is American, has USNT aspirations? Second, if that was his goal did he just muddle it by signing with Vancouver, i.e., a Canadian team (for immigration purposes)? Put differently, what’s his immigration status?

      Third, I brought up discovery claim squatting yesterday, and interestingly here on one hand Paulson professed not to know who he was at first but now they are cashing in on him signing elsewhere. Hmmmmm.


      • The Imperative Voice

        “He would be eligible for the USMNT after a short period of residence”…..except by signing with Vancouver he likely resides and works in Canada. Portland would make sense but Vancouver would not…..unless he wants to play for Canada.

        I’m not sure how the law works but to the extent residency or a domestic job is required for immigration status here, this wouldn’t help.


      • Soro

        It is a half hour to the border from downtown Van. Many US athletes that play for Vancouver team live in an exclave called Point Roberts in Washington State which is part of the US but can only be accessed through Canada. It is more or less part of Metro Vancouver. He could get around residency requirements by living there.


      • Shane

        He has stated his availability to play for Sierra Leone, where he spent part of his adolescence.


      • Josh D

        He hasn’t played for the full England squad, so he’s available. However, is his wife’s status the only thing he needs? I thought to switch nationalities like that, you had to live in the US. He’d need to switch teams and be a resident for X number of years.

        Now, would he get into our squad? I’m not sure. He has really fallen from grace. I wouldn’t play him above Bradley, Jones, Williams, or Edu. And Mix and Corona’s youth puts them above him too in my eyes. Holden is still to be determined.

        However, his style of play is similar to Holden’s and is the type of midfielder we need.


      • A

        ASSUMING his form is what it was just two years ago he would walk right into a starting role.

        This is a player who just two years ago captained Aston Villa (when they were good) and only left the EPL because his team got relegated.


      • The Imperative Voice

        Maybe this reflects an “I don’t care about the US I just want a paycheck” decision. But if he is interested he may have gone about it all wrong.

        And yeah it would be a separate issue whether if eligible he would be actually good enough. Barely playing at Ipswich in the Championship, etc. But then I was reading a MLS Rumor that Klinsi was chasing two Argentine-Americans also, only one of whom looked like he was playing regularly.


      • GW

        Reo-Coker appears to have gotten married sometime in 2012.

        His wife is Amercan so that would mean he got his green card back in 2012. The card allows him to work and reside in the US. After five years he can apply for US citizenship.

        I am unaware of any way to speed up the five years. This suggests the 2014 World cup is off the table , unless he decides to play for Sierra Leone, for whom he is eligible.

        Of course, Sierra Leone have to make the World Cup.


      • NE Matt

        His (Reo-Coker’s) lawyers believe he is close to attaining citizenship. The problem is he is provisionally tied to England. FIFA will have to get involved by amending a rule) to allow his switch to the USA


      • Al_OC

        Sure he can. He just needs to file a one-time switch after becoming an American. With that said, it’ll take him about 3 years to become an American; so, he’ll be 33-34 by then.


      • John

        He can’t. The rule of switching specifies that in order to switch you had to be eligible to play for BOTH teams when he first played for England. Since he wasn’t married when he first played for the England setup, he has no case.


  • Drew

    Nbc sports is doing it right. We all want to watch soccer and they have shown a dedication to helping the story grow


    • drew11

      Hi drew, I believe that NBC MLS game is bit of history. First MLS preseason game on broadcast TV. Somebody please correct me if I am wrong..


  • xias

    Reo-Coker. Well he’s an average PL player this is good. I’m sure he’s not a DP. We need more transfers like this. How about we get David Bentley? Off him the maximum non-DP cash and he just might come to MLS to re-ignite his career.


  • Nate Dollars

    so, i comment about a paragraph in the thursday kickoff post that has striking similarities to a paragraph in an espn soccernet article, and the comment starts as ‘approved’, then goes to ‘awaiting moderation’, then gets deleted entirely? without any explanation or change in the post?

    if i’m way off base, then simply reply to the comment. if espn copied you guys (or vice versa), then sort it out. but deleting my comment just makes it seem like you’re hiding something.


  • Roman Lewandowski

    Martin KobylaƄski, one of Werder Bremen’s top prospects, accepted call-ups from both Poland and Germany at every youth level before ostensibly choosing Poland recently. I guess I still don’t understand FIFA rules.


    • Ives Galarcep

      You can attend camps and play friendlies for two countries until you’re blue in the face, but you can’t compete in official competitions (qualifiers/world cups) for two countries.


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