The Portland Timbers are making moves, but they are not the only Major League Soccer club in the Pacific Northwest that is making things happen early in the offseason.
The Vancouver Whitecaps announced that Young-Pyo Lee, the team’s 2012 Player of the Year, will return for the 2013 season. (Technically, his return falls more in the “not making things not happen” category than in the “making things happen” one but we digress.)
“We’re thrilled that Lee has decided to return for a second season in Vancouver,” Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie said in a release announcing the news. “He was a cornerstone of our backline last year and a leader on the squad. Not only does he bring world-class talent, but also a wealth of experience that will continue to benefit his teammates.”
The 35-year-old defender considered retiring at the conclusion of the 2012 season, but accepted the Whitecaps offer to pick up his option year. It’s a good thing, too. The Vancouver Sun loves him:
The 5-9, 146-pound right back with 127 caps for his country positively oozes class in Major League Soccer and commands hero-worship status among Korean fans wherever he goes.
His well-timed runs and passing and dribbling skills have clearly strengthened what used to be a weak spot on the Caps’ back line and his one goal and four assists this year are a welcome contribution to a club looking for attacking play from all over the field.
Any time you can keep the paper of your adopted hometown happy, you gotta do it. Plus, he gets to hang out with Jay DeMerit for another season. Win-win.
— Jay DeMerit (@D6MERIT) December 13, 2012