Marcel de Jong, pictured Feb. 19, 2019. (Jesse Laufer / News Staff)

Marcel de Jong, pictured Feb. 19, 2019. (Jesse Laufer / News Staff)

Whitecaps favourite switches to the Island

Marcel de Jong worked to end Whitecaps contract, joining Pacific FC on the ground floor

Former Whitecap favourite and senior national team member Marcel de Jong has arrived in Victoria.

On Feb. 19 it was announced that the Newmarket Ontario born wide-back will be joining Pacific FC for its inaugural season.

In an interview with Black Press, de Jong said fans can expect to see him playing in Pacific colours for at least two years. It was announced on Feb. 4 that de Jong was parting ways with Vancouver, even though he said he could have played another year across the water.

READ MORE: Turning pro on the Island

“People who know me I never really did it for the money,” de Jong said about his playing career. “I could have stayed with the Whitecaps and get more money than I do now. I could go to another MLS team, I could go back to Holland if I want. It’s not what I want, I want to think of the future as well.”

Although born in Ontario, de Jong moved to the Netherlands as a child where he began his career. He moved to the 2. Bundesliga side FC Augsburg in 2010. FC Augsburg were promoted to the Bundesliga in 2011, and de Jong remained with the team until moving to Major League Soccer (MLS) in 2015. He spent one year playing with Sporting Kansas City before moving the Ottawa Fury — then playing in the North American Soccer League (NASL) — for six games, and then finally signing with the Vancouver Whitecaps in late 2016.

Between 2016 and 2018 de Jong made 39 regular season MLS appearances with the ‘Caps, plus three more during the 2017 playoffs.

Internationally de Jong has represented Canada 56 times at the senior level. Club president Josh Simpson and chief executive officer Rob Friend played alongside de Jong during their playing days.

READ MORE: Marcus Haber returns to Canada after nine years in Europe

“When I started playing for Canada I never knew I was going to be in Canada right now, but being involved with the national team helped me make my decision to go the MLS a little easier,” de Jong said. “It definitely made me realize that I want to be in this part of the world, and right now I don’t want to be back in Holland or Europe or wherever. We feel really at home here in Canada and in B.C.”

Although he said it hasn’t been discussed with the club yet, de Jong hinted that he might see opportunities with Pacific FC after he hangs up his cleats.

“As a player you want to continue and grow, and even after your playing career you want to stay involved in soccer. I think this is a good opportunity for me and my family to build something here, first a couple more years as a player, and then maybe stay involved with the club.”



jesse.laufer@oakbaynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

soccerVancouver WhitecapsVictoria

Just Posted

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

Four residents and two cats were displaced from their home in James Bay when a fire broke out Sunday afternoon. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
No injuries in James Bay house fire

Fire broke out at about 2 p.m. Sunday

A single-vehicle incident impacted the morning commute on the Pat Bay Highway. (Black Press Media file photo)
TRAFFIC: Single-vehicle incident closes section of Pat Bay

Northbound traffic down to one lane, southbound reopened

Coun. Bob Thompson wants authorities to delay the June 30 deadline for submissions to BC Housing’s request-for-proposal to run the supportive housing project at Prosser Road. (Black Press Media File)
Central Saanich calls for delay in supportive housing project deadline

Municipality wants more say in eventual choice of contractor to run supportive housing project

LeoVegas's promotional art for their survey of Canada's funniest proviences (LeoJoker)
B.C. second-funniest province in Canada: online survey

Dry humour popular with B.C. residents – we’re also boisterous laughers

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto and IOC President Thomas Bach, on a screen, speak during a five=party online meeting at Harumi Island Triton Square Tower Y in Tokyo Monday, June 21, 2021. The Tokyo Olympics will allow some local fans to attend when the games open in just over a month, Tokyo organizing committee officials and the IOC said on Monday. (Rodrigo Reyes Marin/Pool Photo via AP)
Tokyo Olympics to allow Japanese fans only, with strict limits

Organizers set a limit of 50% capacity — up to a maximum of 10,000 fans

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

A Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased on Vancouver Island

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

Most Read