Ghanaian midfielder Gershon Koffie has signed a contract extension with the Vancouver Whitecaps, the MLS club has announced.
The 21-year-old has also obtained his permanent residency card and will no longer take up an international roster spot.
Terms of Koffie’s deal weren’t disclosed, but standard MLS deals are for four years, including club options.
That doesn’t mean Koffie will be around that long. If he continues to progress, there will certainly be European interest in the ball-winning central midfielder.
Koffie earned $92,500 in compensation last season, according to the MLS Players’ Union. He started 28 regular-season games in 2012, scoring three goals and adding two assists. He’s been a fixture in the Caps’ lineup since they joined MLS in 2011.
“Gershon has embraced this club, city, and country, and we are very happy for him,” Caps’ coach Martin Rennie said in a release. “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.”
It was former technical director Tommy Soehn who saw Koffie on a scouting trip to Ghana. The club signed him to a second-division deal in Sept., 2010. That relationship with Koffie’s club in Ghana has resulted in two more Ghanaians coming on trial last season, and two more this preseason.
Emmanuel Adjetey, 24, and Aminu Abdallah, 19, are currently with the Caps. The club is high on Abdallah, a tall defensive midfielder, while Adjetey, a small left winger, has shown good signs in camp.
“I’m really glad to become a permanent resident of Canada,” Koffie said in a release. “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.”
With Koffie now counting as a domestic player, the Caps have 10 internationals under contract and 11 international spots for the 2013 season.