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Experienced left back seen as an important piece in Vancouver's backline.

VANCOUVER — Having established himself as a fixture at left back, Vancouver Whitecaps FC have re-committed to Jordan Harvey by extending the experienced defender's MLS contract. Per league and club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The 30-year-old has become an important part of the Blue and White's defensive rearguard in his three-and-a-half seasons with the club, having arrived on Canada's west coast in a trade with Philadelphia Union for allocation money midway through the Whitecaps' inaugural MLS season in 2011.

The former Colorado Rapids man has gone on to set franchise records for most appearances (87), starts (78), minutes played (7,125), and goals (seven) among 'Caps defenders in MLS.

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"It's an honour and privilege to remain with this organization and in the city of Vancouver, which I consider a second home," Harvey said in a club statement. "I've been here for almost four years and I've really jumped in with both feet. This just solidifies that. Every aspect of the organization has really progressed since I first arrived here. It's become something very special and I'm grateful to be a part of what we are building."

The 2014 season has so far been a very productive campaign for Harvey. The former United States youth international has started 23 of Vancouver's 24 matches, scoring two goals. Only starting goalkeeper David Ousted has played more minutes for the 'Caps this season.

"Jordan is a great guy on and off the pitch," said Whitecaps FC head Carl Robinson. "He brings leadership, he's excellent with the young players, his consistency levels have been fantastic, and he has a strong understanding of the league. As we continue to move forward, it's important we have experienced MLS players and he certainly fits into that category."

Meanwhile, the Whitecaps' plans to set up a USL PRO franchise has prompted the club to publish an open letter to the citizens of New Westminster, B.C., following growing concerns from residents in the Lower Mainland community.

In early July, the 'Caps and the City of New Westminster signed a 'memorandum of understanding' to work towards launching a USL PRO franchise at a refurbished Queen’s Park Stadium in New Westminster for the 2015 season.

The move has prompted opposition from some New Westminster residents, particularly members of the local baseball community, who do not want Queen’s Park Stadium to be turned into a 'soccer-only' facility and claiming the process has been fast-tracked without proper public consultation.

In response to those concerns, Whitecaps president Bob Lenarduzzi and chief operating officer Rachel Lewis stated in Thursday's open letter that a 'refurbished Queen's Park Stadium would become multi-use facility' and have asked New Westminster residents to express their thoughts and concerns to both the club and city officials.

With the Whitecaps facing a Sept. 15 deadline to land a USL PRO franchise, it remains to be seen if local opposition in New Westminster will hamper the club's plans to place a team in North America's third tier next season.

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