VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Whitecaps have officially signed 21-year-old Canadian defender Derek Cornelius from the Serbian side FK Javor Ivanjica. ProSoccerUSA reported yesterday that a deal was imminent.
“Derek is one of the top young players in a new generation of Canadian talent,” said Whitecaps FC head coach Marc Dos Santos.
“For his age, he has the right composure and characteristics we look for at the centre back position. We have followed his progress within Canada Soccer and believe he has developed in the right way,” the Vancouver head coach added. “He has also been exposed to different environments, and this is always good for a player’s development. We are working hard to build this roster and will be announcing additional player acquisitions very soon.”
Cornelius has agreed to a contract through 2020, with options for 2021 and 2022. He will officially join the club’s roster pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC).
“Vancouver is a club that I’ve followed for a few years, and I’m extremely excited to now be a part of it. This is a good opportunity for me to show the city and club what I can do as an individual and to not just come through, but to really leave my mark here,” Derek Cornelius said.
NEWS: #VWFC acquire Canadian international centre back Derek Cornelius 🇨🇦 from Serbian club FK Javor Ivanjica
— Vancouver Whitecaps (@WhitecapsFC) January 18, 2019
The 6-2, 190-pound, left-footed centreback is the fifth acquisition since Dos Santos took over in November. The club is preparing for its March 2 regular-season kickoff against Minnesota United FC at BC Place.
The Whitecaps are also expected to announce additional signings following the conclusion of the winter transfer window in Europe, which closes Jan. 31. Officially, the Major League Soccer transfer window will open on Feb. 7, and the club will debark on their winter training camp to Hawaii on Jan. 31.