February 26, 2013 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Vancouver Whitecaps FC
VANCOUVER, BC - Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced today that midfielder Gershon Koffie obtained his permanent residency card from Citizenship and Immigration Canada and has agreed to a contract extension. Per Major League Soccer and club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
"Gershon has embraced this club, city, and country, and we are very happy for him," said Martin Rennie, Whitecaps FC head coach. "He is the type of character we want at our club and being only 21, we think he has a big future ahead of him."
Born in Koforidua, Ghana, and raised in Accra, Ghana, Koffie first signed with Whitecaps FC on September 3, 2010, for the final matches of the "Caps last season in division two. The 6-00, 175-pound central midfielder transitioned with the club to MLS and has since started 57 of his 59 MLS appearances, including the club's first ever MLS Cup Playoffs appearance. In that time, the promising young player has scored four goals and recorded two assists.
"I'm really glad to become a permanent resident of Canada," said Koffie. "The fans have been fantastic since I came to Vancouver in 2010. They've welcomed me and made this my home. I love this city and I can't wait to get back on the field."
Prior joining Whitecaps FC, the Ghanaian U-20 international played four seasons for International Allies FC in his native Ghana.
With the acquisition of his permanent residency card, Koffie will now count as a domestic player in MLS. For the 2013 season, Whitecaps FC hold 11 international spots and currently have ten internationals under contract.
Major League Soccer roster compliance deadline
The deadline for all MLS clubs to be roster compliant is March 1. While a club may continue to add or release players from their roster or training camp, the club's official roster - players under contract - must remain within the MLS roster guidelines.
Whitecaps FC kickoff the 2013 MLS season this Saturday, March 2, against Canadian arch-rivals Toronto FC at BC Place. Season tickets are available and start at $349, plus applicable service charges and fees. To secure a seat and for additional information about Whitecaps FC MLS season tickets, including Pitchside Club and suites, call 604.669.9283 or visit whitecapsfc.com/tickets.