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Whitecaps introduce DeMerit as first signing

Jay DeMerit (Getty)

Jay DeMerit finally has a team again.

Four months after starting all four games for the U.S. national team in South Africa, the former Watford defender was introduced at a press conference today as the first MLS signing by the Vancouver Whitecaps. There was no indication if DeMerit signed as a Designated Player.

Since parting ways with Watford at the end of the 2009-10 club season, DeMerit hasn't played on a regular, save for his World Cup appearances

He'll be the first piece of the building process of expansion side Vancouver as they continue their preparations for their 2011 debut. Next year will also mark DeMerit's MLS debut, as he went unsigned and undrafted out of college.

What do you think of the news? Glad to see DeMerit join MLS? Who will Vancouver sign next?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. So glad for Jay. Athough, I guess there really was no rush with the season not starting ’til next year, I’m curious why it’s taken this long for the announcement. Still seems a great team fit.

    Have to agree the picture looks oddly funny, like he’s coughed out ball.

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  2. that being sad, i had hoped he’d got a transfer to a team like Blackpool or WBA or in the German/Dutch league but all is good.

    DeMerit is 31 now. Like other guys Boca and Cherundolo, he’d be leaving the NT within the next year or so. Playing in MLS now gives younger guys a chance like Ream and Gonzalez and many more.

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  3. Probably $350,000- just short of DP cash. But i’m sure he gets bonuses ala Keller and McBride. Both of those were not DP’s but they were getting big bonuses i bet.

    I wouldn’t be suprised if he made around $450,000 a season including bonuses. Great job. His story is pretty incredible and deserves to be made into a movie starring Matt Damon.

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  4. Solid signing by the Whitecaps. How much do you all speculate he is getting paid? I can’t imagine it would be any less than $300 thousand. Excited for the expansion draft to come up next week..thats when we can finally start seeing the type of identity that the whitecaps and timbers will have next season.

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  5. Did Vancouver have the first choice of allocation? Is that how they landed him as a non-DP player. Given that he hasn’t played since the summer, he’s bound to be a little rusty. I think that by the end of the year, he’ll be one of the top 2-3 centerbacks playing in MLS. A born leader who started 4 games in the heart of defense at a World Cup within the last year is a hell of a foundation to build an MLS squad on.

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  6. I’m happy about this move. While its too bad that he didn’t get the recognition in Europe that he probably deserved, its always good to bring high caliber players to MLS to grow the league and its popularity…especially Americans. From the National team perspective, he’s 30, so probably not much more room for development, anyway. He’ll still be able to produce for the nats if Bob calls him in.

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  7. First off , Jay is one of the most fit and natural athletes on the US squad..since the WC in June he has stayed in shape by training with his former team (so it won’t be a year since he’s played, its November). He is far from his last leg. Secondly he is also a HUGE offensive threat on set pieces and corners. Bradley would not let him go forward in favor of Gooch since Jay is faster on a counter. You don’t have to go forward too often in England thanks to solid mids and forward players. Lubos Kubik? good yes, all around talent, yes..he was surrounded by players which is why the Fire won the title. lets see who Vancouver goes with.
    For an American to captain an English team makes him a tremendous talent. its that kind of ignorance that allowed EVERY MLS team to take a pass on him after college, and look how that turned out. Vancouver got a bargain at any price for an all around player. I look forward to the all-star game..as well as lots of goals from central defense!

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  8. Califf’s rights were still held by Houston (from SJ) and they traded them to Philadelphia in exchange for not taking any of their players in the expansion draft.

    We know this because Philly traded its #1 allocation spot to DC for Fred, the #7 pick, and cash, which DCU used on Perkins.

    Philly then came back to the top of the allocation order to take Orozco by sending the Red Bulls something like 200K.

    Long story short, Califf didn’t come through the allocation order.

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  9. Now that I look into it more, supposedly the Discovery/Allocation period for signing int’l and domestic players doesn’t begin until Dec 6, so it might be that this is all ceremonial until Jay get’s his int’l transfer certificate and Dec 6 rolls around.

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  10. Vancouver should be praised for the persistent pursuit of DeMerit. His name was rumored for a while and never faded liked the names of Wolfsburg, Everton, Leeds, who popped up. Good for Vancouver they have a solid piece to build from. Jay’s experience, leadership, and professionalism will be relied on. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him trout out as Vancouver’s captain.

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  11. Just wait till Tom Soehn throws him under the bus for underperforming.

    Still not sure how Dude got his gig up North but, hey –I hope that it works out for him.

    Kind of ironic that Janicki ended up there, too. He’d better have a backup plan when Soehn cuts him from the MLS side.

    I am amazed that Martin Nash retired without playing at least the inaagural MLS season with the Whitecaps.

    I didn’t see that one coming.

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  12. Always one of my favorites; I’m happy for him. Like most of us, I hoped he’d catch on with a low level EPL or Bundesliga team, but living in Vancouver is a nice consolation prize. He’s 30, so hopefully he got a nice payday…he deserves it.

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  13. *North America, yes all countries in North and South America are technically American countries. We’re simply the one called The United States of AMERICA.

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  14. Good for him. I’m sure he would have preferred Europe – but this is a great consoloation. To lead a new franchise, strong fan base (from what i hear) and great city (probably getting good coin too) – appears to be a great opportunity and landing spot.

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  15. I have mixed feelings. I think he never got the recognition he should have in Europe, but it’s nice that he’s back in MLS while he still has plenty left in the tank. Should be one of the league’s best defenders for several years.

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  16. Great addition for the expansion side. He will easily be one of the best center backs in the league and a great team leader.

    However, I do have some concerns about his fitness, as he will have had nearly a year without playing competitively. But, for a player of his caliber, I’m sure he’ll be training well in the interim period and will make a smooth transition into the preseason.

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  17. Interested in what the salary is. Teams have been able to find bargains in central defense. Then again, teams like Seattle have managed to sign designated players that disrupt team chemistry and/or don’t start, and Demerit is unlikely to do either of those things.

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  18. Pretty sure it is part of North America.

    He is exactly the type of player MLS should be getting. Houston just missed out on Holden, Vancouver with a larger fan base is able to get DeMerit. Nice.

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  19. Being somewhat of a local guy, he’s a UIC alum, I would have liked to see the Fire sign him to replace CJ Brown. Him and Conde would be a great CB pair in MLS.

    Either way, good for DeMerit, I always liked him and his underdog story.

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  20. I think he can give more than 3-4 years of strong play–look at what a Berhalter can do given the right pairing. I think the larger issue is this–the report I saw yesterday say he was a DP (though that could be wrong). I don’t think it’s worth it to sign Demerit as a DP. If he had the offensive skills of, say, Lubos Kubik than it would be a different matter. But with Demerit you get a fine defender, good organizer, fine team leader–all good pluses. But I think you need to save a DP slot on either a more all-around player or someone who can win you games against the run of play (a world-class GK or a fine goal scorer).

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  21. Glad the guy will be playing again. Seems like a class act. Sounds a bit like he joined because he liked the idea of living in Vancouver. Can’t say I blame him. Looks like a beautiful city. Would love to visit it someday. Have to admit despite being a New Jersey resident and Red Bulls fan I wouldn’t mind sporting a Demerit Jersey.

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  22. He should be able to give them a solid figure in the center to design a defense around. I would expect 2(maybe 3 yrs) of a High MLS level of play from him before he starts to fade.

    That said I’m happy he found a team….and with him being in MLS he should be able to join the January Camp (camp cup-cake) and lend a bit of leadership for the young MLS defenders I’d expect to get invites….(Gonzalez, Ream, Opara, George, Alston, Franklin, etc…).

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  23. “That is awesome. Americans playing in America…I can’t wait to boo him ;-)”

    Well, Americans playing in Vancouver, at least. Good man, he’ll be a rock.

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