The Vancouver Whitecaps signed centerback Brendan McDonough to a Major League Soccer contract Wednesday. The deal is for the 2019 season and has options through 2022.
The former Georgetown University defender was selected in the second round, 35th overall, of the 2019 MLS SuperDraft in January.
The signing comes off the back of the Caps defeat in Saturday’s season opener against Minnesota United. In that game, one of the major concerns was on defense with Derek Cornelius having to play in an unfamiliar left-back role.
As a result, the Whitecaps reportedly could sign a new left back this week. Sources close to the club report the Whitecaps are interested in signing Iraqi international left back Ali Adnan. Adnan would certainly help with the Whitecaps’ problems in the wing-back positions.
Caps coach Marc Dos Santos did not deny the rumor when speaking to reporters Wednesday.
Let's feed the rumour mill, shall we? MDS didn't explicitly say no, and his comments were similar to those he made on Fredy Montero. And he didn't touch on Oussama Tannane … So there you have it, FWIW. Here's Marc's full comments … pic.twitter.com/Ua6SqpafTF
— J.J. Adams (@TheRealJJAdams) March 6, 2019
Injuries have been a problem during this early stage of the season. New signing Jasser Khmiri and wingback Brett Levis both missed the first game of the season.
So with depth needed in the back, the Whitecaps decided to sign McDonough.
“We’re pleased with the progress of Brendan,” Dos Santos said. “He’s shown well during the preseason and while training with us.”
But whether McDonough will right away feature in the first-team plans remains to be seen. Although the Caps have some injury concerns, it appears McDonough will first see time with the Whitecaps’ development squad.
“We’ll continue to work with him. He will also be involved with the development squad, and we’ll evaluate his progression over the coming months,” Dos Santos said.
— Vancouver Whitecaps (@WhitecapsFC) March 6, 2019
Meanwhile, McDonough is ecstatic to have signed his first professional contract.
“It’s a great feeling and an honour to be with a club that believed in me from the start,” McDonough said Wednesday. “The team has made me feel at home from the first day. I’m really excited to get to work and hopefully make a positive impact here in Vancouver.”
Born in Atlanta, Ga., and raised in Charlotte, N.C., the 6-foot-2 defender made 56 starts in 63 appearances for Georgetown, collecting two goals and two assists while serving as captain in the last two seasons.
McDonough helped the program to three Big East Tournament championships in his four years, scoring the game-winner in the 2018 title game. As a senior, he was named to the All-East Region Second Team and the All-Big East Conference Second Team after he helped the Hoyas to a league-best ten clean sheets on the season.
The 22-year-old defender is already the 15th signing of this winter transfer window for the Whitecaps. And he will not be the last.