The Vancouver Whitecaps announced the return of center-back Jay DeMerit for the upcoming 2014 season a few days ago, and his return is definitely a great move by the franchise.
There’s little doubt that DeMerit is one of the most talented MLS defenders when he stays on the pitch, but that has been his biggest issue in recent years. The 34-year-old veteran suffered with a groin issue in 2011 and also played in only seven contests last year after rupturing his Achilles tendon on Opening Day.
Health is certainly a major red flag with DeMerit, but the Whitecaps decided to take the risk in bringing back their captain, perhaps trying to put the whole Camilo Sanvezzo transfer saga on the past. It remains to be seen what will happen with DeMerit this year, but he seems to be recovered from his issues last year. If that’s the case, Caps fans should expect great things from the veteran center-back.
DeMerit is talented enough to be one of the best defenders in the league thanks to his aerial ability, his experience and his strength at marking the back line. He could even be an All-Star if he is able to stay on the pitch consistently, and there is little doubt that the Whitecaps needed him as a confidence-booster going into the upcoming season. DeMerit could even mentor recent draft pick Christian Dean, and the two defenders could form a great pairing.
There are plenty of positives to his return, and there is little doubt that the Whitecaps will benefit greatly from his presence for this upcoming campaign.