Whitecaps sign midfielder Watson

Vancouver Whitecaps FC signed midfielder Matt Watson on Friday, pending receipt of his international transfer certificate.

Watson, 26, joins Whitecaps FC after spending the past four seasons with North American Soccer League club Carolina RailHawks, including the past three years under new Vancouver coach Martin Rennie.

"I'm thrilled to be playing for Martin again, and now at the highest level of professional soccer in North America," said Watson.

"Vancouver have a great fan base and an excellent organization. I can't wait to get the season underway."

A native of England, Watson had three goals and two assists last season in 24 appearances to help Carolina capture the NASL regular season title.

"Matt has consistently been one of the best players at the North American second division level over the past four years - three of which I had the pleasure of coaching him," said Rennie.

"He has had several offers to join Major League Soccer teams, so I am really pleased that he has chosen to take the next step in his career with Vancouver Whitecaps FC."

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