In a move that will no doubt bring smiles to the faces of every single Vancouver Whitecaps fan out there, the team announced Thursday they had re-signed Defensive Midfielder and Designated Player Matias Laba to a multi-year extension. Terms, including salary and length of the contract, were not disclosed by the club.
Laba signs new contract! #relievedsigh— Russell Berrisford (@squadplayer) November 12, 2015
Laba is one of the Whitecaps most important players, arguably the most important, and it's good to see the club committing to keeping him in a blue and white kit, (and sometimes dirt brown) kit.
If you didn't already know about Laba's dominance this season, the Whitecaps provided some telling stats with their news release.
This season, the third-year MLS midfielder recorded 235 recoveries, most among Whitecaps FC field players, and 200 duels won, highest on the team, while helping Vancouver to their first-ever Voyageurs Cup and a second-place finish in the Western Conference. He also led the club in successful passes with 1,134 and had the second best passing accuracy at 83 per cent.
Soccer media members across North America recognized Laba's accomplishments and potential when he was ranked 12th on the annual MLS 24 under 24 list honouring the league's top young players under 24 years old.
Now the Whitecaps can start looking at adding some pieces to their attack, something Carl Robinson already said was a priority following the 'Caps post-season loss to the Portland Timbers. Getting Laba long-term is a great way to start the off-season though.