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Whitecaps sign midfielder Berhalter through 2025 MLS season

Sebastian Berhalter Vancouver Whitecaps Jon Gallagher Austin FC Sebastian Berhalter and Jon Gallagher - The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Whitecaps have signed midfielder Sebastian Berhalter to a new contract through the 2025 Major League Soccer season, with a club option for 2026.

The 22-year-old set career highs in 2023 with two goals, four assists and 16 starts in 37 appearances across all competitions.

Berhalter played primarily as a defensive or central midfielder, but showed his versatility by slotting into a wingback position in four starts.

He helped Vancouver win back-to-back Canadian Championship titles in 2022 and 2023, coming into the game as a substitute in last year's final.

Vancouver acquired Berhalter, from Westerville, Ohio, in a February 2022 trade with the Columbus Crew.

Berhalter was signed as a homegrown player by Columbus before their MLS Cup-winning season in 2020 and went on to make nine first team appearances.

"Sebastian has continued to make tremendous strides since joining our club in February 2022 and especially in the last season," Whitecaps sporting director Axel Schuster, said in a release. "Still only 22, Sebastian has shown to be a key piece in our group with a willingness to contribute wherever needed."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 6, 2023.