BURNABY, B.C. – The Vancouver Whitecaps continued to tinker Thursday, trading Long Tan to D.C. United and waiving midfielder Floyd Franks.
Tan heads to the US capital after voicing his frustration with a lack of playing time in recent weeks, most notably sending out a Tweet which earned him a team-imposed suspension during which he was forced to train alone.
At a training session at Burnaby Lake field on Thursday, there were hints something was up – Tan was the only player training in an orange bib, and did some running alongside midfielder Matt Watson before joining in with the rest of the group.
In exchange for Major League Soccer’s first-ever Chinese player, the Whitecaps receive United’s third-round pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft, which could become a first-round supplemental pick if the draft is reduced to two rounds.
Franks was waived after failing to make an impact with the Whitecaps in limited playing time – the midfielder made two MLS substitute appearances and one Canadian Championship start this season, and seemed very much on the periphery of the squad.
The club’s decision to waive Franks ends a long-time relationship with Whitecaps head coach Martin Rennie – the Hattiesburg, Miss., native played under the Scottish coach first with the Cleveland City Stars in 2008 before again working with him with the Carolina RailHawks from 2010-11.
“It’s more the fact that he wasn’t in our team,” Rennie told reporters on Thursday. “He’s a player that’s used to starting pretty much every game over the last five years and he’s a guy who really wants to be starting and to be playing, and I can understand that. At this point we don’t see him getting into the starting lineup so that was the decision we made.”
With the departures of Tan and Franks, Vancouver now have three free roster spaces with which to work.
Martin MacMahon covers the Vancouver Whitecaps for MLSsoccer.com.