Ranko Veselinović
Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Vancouver Whitecaps sign Serbian center back Ranko Veselinovic

TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Signing

The Vancouver Whitecaps have signed center back Ranko Veselinović from Serbian SuperLiga club FK Vojvodina, the club announced Sunday.

The 20-year-old arrives on a one-year loan with an option to buy. He was acquired using Targeted Allocation Money.

Veselinović will occupy an international roster spot and join the team for preseason camp in the coming days - pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC), medical, work permit, and visa.

“At age 20, Ranko already has a lot of experience playing in a highly competitive league in Serbia," Whitecaps FC sporting director Axel Schuster said in a statement. "In addition, being captain at such a young age shows his maturity and character. He is good in the air, fast, and comfortable moving the ball into the midfield after winning possession. He has started at every youth level for his country, has been a regular with his hometown club for three seasons, and now he sees MLS as the next challenge as he continues to develop as a player.”

Veselinovic, who turns 21 on March 24, came up through the Vojvodina youth ranks before making his professional debut in Sept. 2017. He’s made 64 appearances since then and was named captain in the summer.

This season, the 6-foot-2 center back started 19 of the first 20 matches he appeared in, helping Vojvodina reach third in the SuperLiga table before the winter break.

“We were looking to add another centre back to our roster since November, so this move has been in the works for a while, and at the same time we wanted to bring in the right player,” added head coach Marc Dos Santos. “We want to be a club that promotes young players and with the potential that Ranko brings, with his characteristics and profile, we felt this is a very good opportunity for everyone involved. We are looking forward to him joining the team as soon as possible.”

Veselinovic competed for numerous Serbian youth national teams, from U-16 to U-21, most recently starting both 2021 UEFA European U-21 Championship qualifying matches last November.

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