TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Contract terminated
Vancouver Whitecaps FC and Ali Adnan have mutually agreed to terminate the left back's contract after persistent visa issues, it was announced Saturday.
The Iraq international had yet to make an appearance during the 2021 season, with travel restrictions leaving Vancouver playing their home games at Real Salt Lake’s Rio Tinto Stadium instead of BC Place.
His departure opens a Designated Player spot, with forward Lucas Cavallini still occupying that roster designation for Vancouver. Going into the Secondary Transfer Window, which runs from July 7 to August 5, Vancouver have two open DP spots to possibly reinforce their roster.
“We have a lot of respect for Ali and are thankful for his time at our club,” Axel Schuster, Whitecaps FC CEO and sporting director, said in a release. “Unfortunately, we found ourselves in a circumstance related to his visa that was out of all of our control. Following a number of discussions, we’ve agreed to go in different directions and wish Ali all the best in the future.”
Adnan, 27, had three goals and 10 assists across 50 regular-season appearances (48 starts) in MLS. He originally joined on loan from Serie A side Udinese in March 2019, then secured a permanent move that summer as a DP. Last year, Adnan was voted by the club’s fans as the 2020 Whitecaps FC Player of the Year.
“I am thankful to Axel, Greg [Anderson] and Marc [Dos Santos] for working together on a solution in a very difficult situation regarding my US visa status, which was complicated further by COVID-19 travel restrictions,” Adnan said in a release. “I am also very grateful for all the support from the Whitecaps fans, my teammates and everyone at the club for two memorable seasons. I will forever be a fan of this club and Vancouver will always have a special place in my heart.”
Without Adnan’s services, Vancouver have mostly turned to Cristian Gutierrez at left back. They return to action on Sunday at FC Dallas (8:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+), looking to build off last weekend’s 2-2 draw at the Supporters' Shield-leading Seattle Sounders.