More than one source and numerous web sites say that Jay DeMerit to MLS’s new north-of-the-border franchise, the Vancouver Whitecaps, is a done deal with the signing to be announced tomorrow.
A puzzling outcome for DeMerit, who gambled on not re-upping his Watford deal last year and betting a strong World Cup (solid if not spectacular as it turned out) could be parlayed into a big contract at a strong European league.
In September, DeMerit made a few statements in a British radio interview, including:
I’m just being patient, but I want to get something sorted out…..I’m not trying to chase an opportunity….I’m in the luxury of being able to choose what I want to do
If nothing happens, I’ll look to go back to the States in January
Just last month, we started to get signs that it was MLS-or-bust for DeMerit: an appearance at the Mall of America in Minnesota and visiting with the USMNT that was in town in Chicago.
So what happened?
Well, first, this is no slight on Vancouver, but DeMerit made it clear he wanted to stay in Europe.
It clearly appears that DeMerit, 31 in a few weeks, battling injuries the past few years fell victim to lack of leverage and home grown rules (Italy and England) being instituted across Europe.
Why offer a multi-year deal to an aging American central defender? Surely the next year, another foreigner will be available who is perhaps younger and maybe meets your native quota.
It appears DeMerit’s agents, gambled here and, well, didn’t come out with the ultimate deal.
Our sentiments below from some commentary we had in the situation back in September.
I find the Jay DeMerit situation rather puzzling. Here’s a player (and his agent) who knew they were playing out their Watford contract last year and rolling the dice on a solid World Cup to pump his value.
In essence DeMerit’s agent could begin negotiating with teams–or at the very least–selling his agent’s wares to clubs way back in January 2010!
That DeMerit, a noted good teammate and battle-tested veteran, is still without home is mind-boggling and for him must be concerning.
Unfounded tabloid rumors (apologies for picking these up on our site) had him going anywhere from Wolfsburg to Everton.
While those clubs might be stretches, it is also concerning that neither a club with injury troubles (Wolfsburg) or a club with huge defensive issues (Everton) has taken a flyer on DeMerit.
Now, Jay and his agent are probably angling for more than a year deal, but at this point–with the season aging–it perhaps would be best for DeMerit to just take an offer to keep his name–and play–in the media.
That hasn’t happened.
I’ve tried to reach DeMerit’s agent a number of times–I do not have a rapport with him, but my guess is that back and eye issues that have trouble DeMerit are also troubling clubs from giving him any more than one year deal, if that.
….and that also makes DeMerit a poor selection for the Vancouver Whitecaps as a designated player.
A look around the league shows a near flawless pattern of MLS teams sign designated players help–read: dominate–in attack.
It’s not rocket science. Bringing in an accomplished attacker (most recently: Henry, NYRB and SJE with Geovanni) makes sense because scoring in any league is at a premium.
Heck, even the Red Bulls have used their 2nd D.P. signing Rafa Marquez further up the pitch than his predominant pedigree to allow them to push attackers further up the field.
DeMerit–in this interview–suggested he wouldn’t look to MLS until the January window, but Vancouver would not be wise to spend their top D.P. dollars on him.
First, the Whitecaps have given up the least goals in the USSF D-2. Their challenge at a higher level next year will be–surprise–on offense, not defense.
They’ve got a cohesive unit in the back with Nelson Anwari and D.C. United vet Greg Janicki fronting established keeper Jay Nolly and in their reserves they got up-and-comers Ethan Gage and La’Vere Corbin.
I’m not saying DeMerit wouldn’t strengthen that group, but spending D.P. dollars on a player that is arguably more marketable in the States, has a history of injury problems and adding him into the chemistry mix in area of the field that is already a strength is probably not the best choice for the Whitecaps as they enter the league.