DeMerit re-signs with Whitecaps

Vancouver, BC ( - Vancouver Whitecaps FC have re-signed veteran central defender and team captain Jay DeMerit, the club announced on Monday.

Per Major League Soccer and club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.

DeMerit, 34, became Whitecaps FC's first MLS signing on November 18, 2010. Since then, he has started 58 of 60 regular season matches with the 'Caps for a total of 5,004 minutes. DeMerit also started the Whitecaps 2012 playoff match and has made five appearances in the Canadian Championships.

"As he has proven over the last three seasons, Jay is an important member of our club," said Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson. "He's a total leader, and he's someone who we had every intention of bringing back.

"His dedication and professionalism were on full display last season when he returned from a serious injury earlier than expected and proved that he could still compete at a high level. The experience, energy, and standards Jay brings to our group is second to none and we're delighted that he has committed to continuing his career with our club."

Last season, the United States international suffered a torn Achilles tendon just minutes into the team's season-opener on March 2. He returned to action against the San Jose Earthquakes on Sept. 14. and played in the team's remaining six league matches.

"When I came to Vancouver three years ago as the club's first signing, we had a shared vision and commitment to making this club a successful one both on and off the field," said DeMerit. "Our goal has been not only to create a team Whitecaps FC fans can be proud of but to continue to grow the game here in North America.

"Today, I'm happy to say that our commitment to that long-term goal can continue and I'm thrilled to be a part of this team and this organization. Vancouver has always felt like home and together with my wife, we have a sense of purpose and belonging here in BC. The fans of this club have always been tremendous. They deserve to have success and they deserve players who reflect the loyalty that they show us. With the strong nucleus we have created over the past few years, together with the young talent we will help grow, I believe the future of this club is bright and I look forward to being a part of it."

Before joining the Whitecaps ahead of their inaugural 2011 campaign, DeMerit played six seasons in England with Championship side Watford and has earned 25 caps for the United States.