Kendall Waston officially is no longer a Vancouver Whitecap. The defender, who announced his intentions to leave the Whitecaps Oct. 24, was traded to the expansion franchise FC Cincinnati on Tuesday.
In exchange for Waston, the Whitecaps will receive $450,000 of General Allocation Money (GAM), $300,000 of Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) and a 2019 international roster spot from FC Cincinnati. The transaction is an MLS single-player trade record of allocation money in return for a defender.
In the event FC Cincinnati trades or transfers Watson, Vancouver will retain a percentage of money received for him. Furthermore, Whitecaps FC may also receive an additional $75,000 in GAM if the defender reaches certain performance-based incentives.
The 30-year-old defender has tallied 15 goals and six assists in 136 starts and 137 appearances across all competitions for the Whitecaps after arriving in Vancouver via transfer from Deportivo Saprissa in August 2014.
“First and foremost, we are thankful to Kendall for his four and a half seasons at the club. Kendall has been an important part of this team,” said head coach Marc Dos Santos. “However, we evaluated his desire for a new challenge and what we want from our team moving forward.
Waston joins former Whitecap Kei Kamara, who was drafted by Cincinnati in the MLS Expansion Draft earlier today, at the new MLS club.
With Waston, Kamara and Alphonso Davies now gone, the Whitecaps have lost their three most important players from last season.
While Davies’ transfer to German giant Bayern Munich was a watershed moment for the club’s youth academy, losing Kamara and Waston was mostly about getting rid of old baggage for Dos Santos. The new head coach has made it clear from day one that he will only work with players who want to be at the club and will buy into his ethos.
Dos Santos was very clear Monday that Waston would not return to the Whitecaps following the captain’s widely-published remarks in October that he wanted to leave Vancouver.
Nonetheless, when news broke that Vancouver was in discussions with Cincinnati for Kamara, the Whitecaps defender expressed disbelieve over a possible trade.
“Interesting everyone knows all the rumours and the last guy to know things is the player or agent!!” Waston tweeted earlier on Tuesday.
Interesting everyone knows all the rumours and the last guy to know things is the player or agent!! https://t.co/l9joRqcZjq
— Kendall Waston (@kwaston88) December 11, 2018
Waston has in the past been adamant that he wanted not just to leave the Whitecaps but also explore options outside the league. The defender, however, had one year left on his contract in Vancouver, giving the Whitecaps full control over Waston’s short-term destiny and making it possible for the Caps to complete a record transfer for an MLS defender.
“There was a lot of interest in Kendall from around the league, and this move puts the club in a good position as we continue to build the roster for the coming season and beyond,” Dos Santos said following the announcement of the trade.
“I’m so excited to join FC Cincinnati and their amazing fans going so loud each game. Thrilled to help lead the way as the club moves into MLS. Can’t wait to get to work,” Waston tweeted following the official announcement of his trade..