They still don’t have a coach, but when it comes to player contract options, Vancouver couldn’t wait for that process to play out. That’s why Camilo Sanvezzo, Nigel Reo-Coker, Gershon Koffie, and Russell Teibert were among the 11 Whitecaps who had their club options exercised on Thursday, while Joe Cannon, Brad Knighton and Daigo Kobayashi are now out of contract with the club.
Cannon, Knighton, along with Corey Hertzog and Tommy Heinemann are headed to the re-entry draft (which will happen after MLS Cup), while Kobayashi, Jun Marques Davidson, Brad Rusin and Simon Thomas hit the waiver wire.
On the brighter side, former number one overall pick Omar Salgado is among the players who had options picked up, as are Jordan Harvey, Carlyle Mitchell, Matt Watson, Erik Hurtado, Bryce Alderson, and Aminu Abdallah.
The sure number of people whose options needed to be exercised is a bit eye-opening, but it may reflect a franchise that entered 2013 in an in-between state. The Whitecaps are only in their third year, but they have the talent and resources to compete, part of the reason why former coach Martin Rennie faced so much scrutiny. After claiming the West’s final playoff spot in 2012, the front office seemed to take a wait-and-see approach with most of its roster.
“Some degree of roster turnover is expected at this time of year,” Vancouver president Bob Lenarduzzi said in a statement distributed by the club “[A]lthough we have declined options on certain players, we will continue to have conversations with a couple of players about opportunities moving forward.”
That could mean a new deal for some. Perhaps Vancouver can claim them in the re-entry draft. As much as talent may have been a consideration with these options, money may have been the issue for players like Cannon ($180,500 cap hit) and Kobayashi ($225,000).
According to Vancouver outlet The Province, today’s decisions leave 19 players under contract, the 11 players who had their options picked up joining “goalkeeper David Ousted, defenders Sam Adekugbe, Johnny Leveron and Andy O’Brien, and forwards Kekuta Manneh, Darren Mattocks, Kenny Miller and the on-loan Caleb Clarke.”
The Providence also has an update on the Whitecaps’ coaching search, something we’ll circle back on later here at PST.