The first Vancouver Whitecap signed to a Major League Soccer contract is also the expansion clubís first captain.
Defender Jay DeMerit, 30, was given the armband Wednesday by head coach Teitur Thordarson at practice in Empire Field. The Green Bay, Wisc., native was inked last November after spending three years as the captain of Watford FC in Englandís Football League Championship circuit.
DeMerit has 23 caps with the United States national team, including appearances in the 2010 World Cup.
Thordarson appointed Vancouver-born Terry Dunfield and Johannesburg, South Africa native John Thorrington DeMeritís assistants.
Canadian international midfielder Dunfield, 29, returned home from England last August and scored twice in 11 United States Soccer Federation Division 2 matches. Midfielder Thorrington, 31, was acquired last November from the Chicago Fire in the MLS expansion draft.
The Whitecaps travel to Tukwila, Wash., Friday for the three-day Cascadia Soccer Summit. They will meet the Portland Timbers Saturday at 4 p.m. and Seattle Sounders Sunday at 3 p.m. in the pre-season tournament at Starfire Sports Complex. The matches are the closest the Caps will play to Vancouver before their historic March 19 MLS regular season debut against the visiting Toronto FC.