MLS Ticker: Reo-Coker to join Whitecaps, Seaton U.S. future in question, and more

BY DARRELL LOVELL

Nigel Reo-Coker future has finally been settled. Reports late Wednesday night confirmed that the English midfielder has agreed to a move to the Vancouver Whitecaps.

The deal will is for four years and will not be at Designated Player status in the first season. However, performance incentives could push him in that direction after the first season.

The 28-year-old Reo-Coker, whose wife is American, comes to Vancouver with a host of experience under his belt. The midfielder spent 12 years in either the English Premier League or Championship with clubs including Aston Villa, West Ham United and Bolton Wanderers. He reportedly turned down offers in England and Russia to move to MLS.

“I am delighted, it will be a new experience and I can’t wait,” Reo-Coker told Sky Sports ahead of flying to Vancouver. “I have done my research, I have spoken to Shaka Hislop and Robbie Earle, guys I have played with and who are now working and living there and it is a growing industry and thought it was something I should try.”

The move has been in the works for some time but a battle over his discovery rights between the Whitecaps and Portland Timbers, who also had intentions to sign the midfielder for this season, had to be settled. A yet to be announced agreement was struck between the two clubs, however, paving the way for Reo-Coker’s move to Vancouver.

Pending league approval, Reo-Coker is expected to be available for the Whitecaps when the season starts March 2nd against Toronto FC.

Here are some other more news and notes items, and some tournament results to catch you up on all the pre-season action around MLS:

SEATON U.S. Under-17 BID DENIED

D.C. United Homegrown forward Michael Seaton’s US future hit a snag Wednesday when his eligibility was called into question. The forward had accepted a call to join Richie Williams’ U-17 squad that is preparing for World Cup Qualifying. However, since he played for Jamaica earlier in qualifying, Seaton will now have to file a binding one-time switch to be eligible to play for the United States.

Seaton was slated to join the US U-17 squad that was preparing for three friendlies in Panama as a run to World Cup Qualifying. Since he is ineligible for the tournament, he is cap-tied to Jamaica, he was sent back to Florida to re-join the D.C. camp.

PRE-SEASON TOURNAMENT UPDATE

Real Salt Lake and the Seattle Sounders booked their places in the final of the Desert Diamond Cup with wins Wednesday night. Seattle remained undefeated in the tournament notching a 2-0 win over the New York Red Bulls on goals from Alex Caskey and Mario Martinez. In the other match, Alvaro Saborio and Khari Stephenson hit late strikes to give Real Salt Lake a 3-2 win over the New England Revolution.

RSL and Seattle will meet in the final that will air on NBC Sports Saturday at 8PM ET.

In the Portland Pre-Season Tournament, Blas Perez fired home a 16th-minute goal that would stand up as FC Dallas took a 1-0 victory over the host Timbers. In other action, the San Jose Earthquakes used a reserve-heavy lineup in a scoreless draw with AIK. The highlight was Tottenham loanee John Bostock going 62 minutes in the match.

This entry was posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS Transfer News, MLS- Chicago Fire, MLS- D.C. United, MLS- FC Dallas, MLS- New England Revolution, MLS- New York Red Bulls, MLS- Portland Timbers, MLS- Real Salt Lake, MLS- San Jose Earthquakes, MLS- Seattle Sounders, MLS- Toronto FC, MLS- Vancouver Whitecaps, U.S. Soccer, U.S. Youth National Teams, Under-17 World Cup. Bookmark the permalink.

38 Responses to MLS Ticker: Reo-Coker to join Whitecaps, Seaton U.S. future in question, and more

  1. 2tone says:

    That sucks for Seaton.

    • Travis in Miami says:

      Was thinking the same thing. At 17 to have to make such a decision. I guess for the moment he can not take the US invite, continue develop in at DC and with Jamaica until it becomes more clear if he can be in the mix for the US senior squad – if not he can still get international soccer in Jamaica (assuming his development takes him that far). Still sucks at this point.

    • DC Josh says:

      He has said in a recent interview that he does not want to make a decision on Jamaica or USA for some time. He is only 16 years old. So, it will be interesting how he reacts to this.

      A flaw in FIFA’s rules would allow him to represent Jamaica at the U-17 World Cup and then switch to USA permanently afterwards, as long as he doesn’t get capped by the Jamaican full team. Such stupid rules.

      • fischy says:

        That’s a flaw? FIFA doesn’t force a 16 year old to decide what country he will permanently represent, and you think that’s a flaw?

        I’m really excited that Seaton is considering the USA. Watching him in preseason, it’s clear that he’s a very impressive specimen physically.Just a big kid, and he can move well. He’s also not doing that badly for someone that’s making the transition from USSDA U-16 play to the pros. One to watch, and I hope we’ll be seeing him in the USA kit.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      I don’t see how it sucks to have played international soccer for pretty much anyone. Since he accepted the Jamaican call and played, it’s self-inflicted. If he wanted to play here without complications, there is the word, “No.”

    • Josh D says:

      It’s sad they have to make such big decision early on. I think up to the u20s, you should bounce around. However, I think the tie-up here is that he already played a qualifier for the tournament for Jamaica NOT that he has to make such a big decision now.

      Brooks has played for the US and Germany at the u20 level. I’m not sure what the difference is here.

  2. Hogatroge says:

    While my Dynamo have had some stinkers against Vancouver in the last few years, I’m glad this got sorted out for them.

    Bringing in players like Reo-Coker in their prime (even if his star has fallen quite a bit) makes MLS better as a whole.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      First, is there any truth to the rumor that Reo-Coker, whose wife is American, has USNT aspirations? Second, if that was his goal did he just muddle it by signing with Vancouver, i.e., a Canadian team (for immigration purposes)? Put differently, what’s his immigration status?

      Third, I brought up discovery claim squatting yesterday, and interestingly here on one hand Paulson professed not to know who he was at first but now they are cashing in on him signing elsewhere. Hmmmmm.

      • NE Matt says:

        Great article from last month with some details that should clear up some of your questions Imperative

        link to prostamerika.com

        • The Imperative Voice says:

          “He would be eligible for the USMNT after a short period of residence”…..except by signing with Vancouver he likely resides and works in Canada. Portland would make sense but Vancouver would not…..unless he wants to play for Canada.

          I’m not sure how the law works but to the extent residency or a domestic job is required for immigration status here, this wouldn’t help.

          • Soro says:

            It is a half hour to the border from downtown Van. Many US athletes that play for Vancouver team live in an exclave called Point Roberts in Washington State which is part of the US but can only be accessed through Canada. It is more or less part of Metro Vancouver. He could get around residency requirements by living there.

      • Josh D says:

        He hasn’t played for the full England squad, so he’s available. However, is his wife’s status the only thing he needs? I thought to switch nationalities like that, you had to live in the US. He’d need to switch teams and be a resident for X number of years.

        Now, would he get into our squad? I’m not sure. He has really fallen from grace. I wouldn’t play him above Bradley, Jones, Williams, or Edu. And Mix and Corona’s youth puts them above him too in my eyes. Holden is still to be determined.

        However, his style of play is similar to Holden’s and is the type of midfielder we need.

        • A says:

          ASSUMING his form is what it was just two years ago he would walk right into a starting role.

          This is a player who just two years ago captained Aston Villa (when they were good) and only left the EPL because his team got relegated.

        • The Imperative Voice says:

          Maybe this reflects an “I don’t care about the US I just want a paycheck” decision. But if he is interested he may have gone about it all wrong.

          And yeah it would be a separate issue whether if eligible he would be actually good enough. Barely playing at Ipswich in the Championship, etc. But then I was reading a MLS Rumor that Klinsi was chasing two Argentine-Americans also, only one of whom looked like he was playing regularly.

        • GW says:

          Reo-Coker appears to have gotten married sometime in 2012.

          His wife is Amercan so that would mean he got his green card back in 2012. The card allows him to work and reside in the US. After five years he can apply for US citizenship.

          I am unaware of any way to speed up the five years. This suggests the 2014 World cup is off the table , unless he decides to play for Sierra Leone, for whom he is eligible.

          Of course, Sierra Leone have to make the World Cup.

  3. brent says:

    Come on Reo!!! Join the US Mens National Team!!!

    • Nick4235 says:

      He can’t..

      • fischy says:

        If his wife is American, he could start the citizenship process.

        • NE Matt says:

          His (Reo-Coker’s) lawyers believe he is close to attaining citizenship. The problem is he is provisionally tied to England. FIFA will have to get involved by amending a rule) to allow his switch to the USA

      • Al_OC says:

        Sure he can. He just needs to file a one-time switch after becoming an American. With that said, it’ll take him about 3 years to become an American; so, he’ll be 33-34 by then.

        • epablo says:

          he will be 31 in three years…

        • John says:

          He can’t. The rule of switching specifies that in order to switch you had to be eligible to play for BOTH teams when he first played for England. Since he wasn’t married when he first played for the England setup, he has no case.

    • MiamiAl says:

      He should switch and play for USA!!!

    • Nick4235 says:

      Brian Sciatetta said he can’t because while he can become a citizen, because he wasn’t a citizen when he represented England he cannot switch. Apparently you have to be a citizen of the US when you represent England’s youth teams and then switch instead of gaining citizenship afterwards.

      link to locker.yanks-abroad.com

    • ed - houston says:

      You sound like the USMNT is desperate or something.

  4. Drew says:

    Nbc sports is doing it right. We all want to watch soccer and they have shown a dedication to helping the story grow

    • drew11 says:

      Hi drew, I believe that NBC MLS game is bit of history. First MLS preseason game on broadcast TV. Somebody please correct me if I am wrong..

  5. 2pac shakur says:

    i wanna see seaton on the US team.

  6. xias says:

    Reo-Coker. Well he’s an average PL player this is good. I’m sure he’s not a DP. We need more transfers like this. How about we get David Bentley? Off him the maximum non-DP cash and he just might come to MLS to re-ignite his career.

  7. Nate Dollars says:

    so, i comment about a paragraph in the thursday kickoff post that has striking similarities to a paragraph in an espn soccernet article, and the comment starts as ‘approved’, then goes to ‘awaiting moderation’, then gets deleted entirely? without any explanation or change in the post?

    if i’m way off base, then simply reply to the comment. if espn copied you guys (or vice versa), then sort it out. but deleting my comment just makes it seem like you’re hiding something.

  8. Roman Lewandowski says:

    Martin KobylaƄski, one of Werder Bremen’s top prospects, accepted call-ups from both Poland and Germany at every youth level before ostensibly choosing Poland recently. I guess I still don’t understand FIFA rules.

    • Ives Galarcep says:

      You can attend camps and play friendlies for two countries until you’re blue in the face, but you can’t compete in official competitions (qualifiers/world cups) for two countries.

  9. Edwin in LA says:

    Ives will there be a SBI MLS Fantasy League this year?