Hours after Nigel Reo-Coker confirmed the news to media outlets, the Vancouver Whitecaps made it official on Thursday afternoon: The former English Premier League player is joining the 'Caps.
The club indicated that their new signing will be joining Whitecaps preseason training camp in Charleston, S.C. on Friday.
“I am very excited and looking forward to this great new challenge in Vancouver,” the 28-year-old told ProstAmerika.com earlier on Thursday. “I still know the best is yet to come from me as a player.”
However, the Whitecaps had to execute a trade with Cascadia rivals Portland in order to land Reo-Coker since the Timbers held the right of first refusal on the player in MLS. Vancouver traded their natural second-round picks in both the 2014 and 2015 SuperDrafts to get first dibs on the player.
“Nigel is a leader on and off the pitch,” said Vancouver head coach Martin Rennie in a statement. “Although he is only 28, Nigel brings a lot of experience to our club and will be a great addition.”
Reo-Coker revealed to SkySports.com that the deal is a four-year contract.
The veteran of over 200 EPL matches has played for English sides West Ham United, Aston Villa, Bolton Wanderers and most recently for Ipswich Town on a three-month deal which expired in December.
Reo-Coker is listed as a midfielder/defender and will likely compete for a central midfield spot with Gershon Koffie, Jun Marques-Davidson, Alain Rochat, Russell Teibert and the injured Bryce Alderson. Similar to Rochat, who may return to a left back position, the Englishman is also versatile enough to play along the backline, including at right back.
The Whitecaps are currently in Charleston, S.C., for the Carolina Challenge Cup. After a Thursday off-day they are scheduled to resume training on Friday ahead of the tournament finale that kicks off on Saturday at 5 pm ET.