VANCOUVER – The Vancouver Whitecaps officially waived central defender Martín Bonjour on Friday.
The Argentine stopper looked set to move back to his former Uruguayan club Liverpool after the official Whitecaps Twitter account Tweeted this week: “Martin Bonjour is currently training with his frmr club Liverpool (Montevideo). We are exploring his options moving forward.”
Bonjour brought an uncompromising, physical presence to Vancouver’s backline in 2012, and looked like a natural partner for Jay DeMerit in the early part of the season, as the ‘Caps kept six clean sheets from eight league matches to start the campaign.
But as the club began to struggle in midseason, and Bonjour ran into yellow-card trouble, head coach Martin Rennie opted to replace him with former Irish international Andy O’Brien.
When fit, O’Brien and DeMerit became Rennie’s first-choice central defensive partnership, and so Bonjour, at almost $300,000, became far too pricey for a backup player. Add in the offseason signing of Brad Rusin, a central defender Rennie knows from the pair's Carolina RailHawks days, and the writing was on the wall for Bonjour.
“We are thankful for the contributions Martín made to the club and wish him the best of luck,” Whitecaps FC president Bob Lenarduzzi said in a team statement.
Bonjour will likely be remembered by Whitecaps fans as the man who conceded a soft penalty to Landon Donovan – the penalty that ultimately allowed the LA Galaxy to score their second goal in a 2-1 first-round playoff victory en route to an eventual repeat as MLS Cup champions in 2012.