Vancouver has brought back its 34-year-old captain after an injury plagued 2013 season.Jay DeMerit will remain with the Vancouver Whitecaps.
The club announced Monday that it had re-signed the central defender to a new deal, extending DeMerit's stay in Vancouver past his original three-year contract.
DeMerit joined the Whitecaps in Nov. 2010, ahead of the club's inaugural MLS season. He was named captain of the side just before its first game in Major League Soccer, and he has remained in that role ever since.
“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," DeMerit said in a statement. "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."
An American international, DeMerit had a successful career in England before heading back to North America. The 34-year-old has spent a lot of time injured during his spell with the 'Caps, but when healthy he has been a first-choice starter and catalyst, said Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson.
“As he has proven over the last three seasons, Jay is an important member of our club,” Robinson said. “He’s a total leader, and he's someone who we had every intention of bringing back."
In 2012, DeMerit earned a spot on the MLS All-Star team that defeated Chelsea, and he helped lead Vancouver to its lone playoff appearance. He missed most of 2013 with an Achilles injury sustained in the Whitecaps' season opener.