Vancouver Whitecaps sign Canadian Marcel de Jong to contract extension

Vancouver Whitecaps' Marcel de Jong waits to speak to reporters during a news conference after the MLS soccer team was eliminated from the playoffs last week, in Vancouver, B.C., on Tuesday November 7, 2017. (Darryl Dyck/CP)

VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Whitecaps signed Canadian defender Marcel de Jong to a contract extension Tuesday.

The 31-year-old native of Newmarket, Ont., has started eight of 11 games this season. De Jong leads the team with 18 interceptions and is third with 13 tackles won.

His contract runs through the 2019 season and includes an option for 2020, the team said in a release.

"Since his first day with the club, Marcel has been the consummate professional," said head coach Carl Robinson. "He’s a competitor, he sets the standard at training, and we’ve seen the results on the pitch. Marcel and his family have embraced Vancouver and this club and we are thrilled to have Marcel agree (to a deal)."

De Jong has made 31 starts over 37 games in all competitions for the Whitecaps. He also made three playoff starts last year.

De Jong has scored three goals in 55 international appearances for Canada over his career.

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