D.C. United and the Vancouver Whitecaps' seasons may have just come to an end, but they are wasting no time in thinking about 2016 and beyond.
D.C. United and the Whitecaps separately announced on Thursday that they have each re-signed one of their starting midfielders. United came to terms on a new deal with Nick DeLeon while the Whitecaps and Matias Laba agreed to a multi-year extension.
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DeLeon, 25, started 25 of the 29 regular season matches he appeared in for D.C. in 2015, and helped the club reach the Audi 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference Semifinals before being knocked off by the New York Red Bulls. He scored two goals and had five assists.
“Nick is a powerful, dynamic and versatile player, and we are excited that he will continue to be part of D.C. United,” said club general manager and vice president of soccer operations Dave Kasper in a statement. "He has been a steady contributor on both sides of the ball from the moment we drafted him. He’s had big performances and scored goals on the biggest stages, and we look forward to the role he’ll play as we build for the 2016 season."
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The 23-year-old Laba, meanwhile, reupped with Vancouver after starting in each of the 30 regular season games he played in this season. The Designated Player scored one goal and added an assist from his defensive midfield spot, and helped the Whitecaps advance to the Western Conference Semifinals, where they were ousted by Cascadia rivals Portland Timbers.
"Since joining the club in late February 2014, Matías has shown significant improvement and as he continues to work hard it's exciting to see what he will achieve," said Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson in a separate statement. "His skill, professionalism, and commitment are exemplary, and we are thrilled he will continue to be a foundational member of Whitecaps FC moving forward."