On Tuesday, the Vancouver Whitecaps announced an extension for Canadian starting left back Marcel de Jong. The extension is through 2019 (i.e., next season) with an option for 2020.
Marcel de Jong came to the Whitecaps on July 11th, 2016, slotting in as a backup to incumbent Jordan Harvey. Upon initially arriving in Vancouver, de Jong saw most of his playing time at left wing; however, as Harvey wound down his Caps career in 2017, de Jong began to see more playing time at left back.
With Harvey moving on to LAFC in the off-season, de Jong has taken over the role of starting left back. Although he has given way to fellow Canadians Brett Levis and Alphonso Davies at times, he has been Carl Robinson’s primary go-to starter at the position.
Despite the offensive prowess expected from de Jong, he has only registered one assist in his 1,861 minutes (22 starts) as a Whitecaps. However, like Harvey, he has proven himself to be a dependable starter at left back.
The extension of de Jong could be seen by some as a roadblock for Levis, however, the contract is only for an additional year. In addition, the Whitecaps need at least two capable left backs on the squad. Finally, there is nothing to suggest (yet) that Levis is significantly better than de Jong at the left back. As a result, this move should motivate both to continue to fight for that position and improve.
What is your take on the move?