Photo courtesy of whitecapsfc.com
VANCOUVER, B.C. – Martin Rennie added one his old charges on Friday, as the Vancouver Whitecaps announced they have signed Matt Watson, formerly of Rennie’s NASL Carolina RailHawks side.
The Englishman, a midfielder by trade, bolsters a position Rennie has targeted for improvement. Although born in Redditch, England, Watson has played his entire college and professional career in North America, first with the University of Maryland before moving on to the professional game in the second division.
“Matt has consistently been one of the best players at the North American second division level over the past four years — three of which I had the pleasure of coaching him,” Rennie said in a club statement. “He has had several offers to join Major League Soccer teams, so I am really pleased that he has chosen to take the next step in his career with Vancouver Whitecaps FC.”
Watson, 26, has played for the RailHawks for four seasons, inlcuding three under Rennie. During his time with the club, he made 107 appearances, scoring eight goals and adding 11 assists. In his most recent season with the club, he scored three goals and pick up two assists in 24 matches.
“I’m thrilled to be playing for Martin again, and now at the highest level of professional soccer in North America,” Watson said a club statement. “Vancouver have a great fan base and an excellent organization. I can’t wait to get the season underway.”
Watson has also played professional indoor soccer with the Baltimore Blast of the Major Indoor Soccer League during two separate spells, and previously played with the Richmond Kickers in USL-2, scoring 10 goals in 41 appearances in the 2006 and 2007 seasons.
His accolades include two USL-2 regular season titles (2006, 2007) and a playoff championship (2006) with the Kickers, and an NASL regular-season title under Martin Rennie in 2011.
Martin MacMahon covers the Vancouver Whitecaps for MLSsoccer.com.