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The Vancouver Whitecaps parted ways with nine players on Monday, and new head coach Marc Dos Santos says changes at the club have only just begun.

“It’s what we think about every night, it’s what we think about every day,” Dos Santos said. “We’re working very hard at building this roster.”

The Whitecaps announced that they will not exercise options on the contracts of three defenders (Jose Aja, Roberto Dominguez and Aaron Maund), three midfielders (Marvin Emnes, Aly Ghazal and Brek Shea), a striker (Myer Bevan) and two goalkeepers (Stefan Marinovic and Spencer Richey).

Marinovic played 32 games with the ‘Caps, all as the starting ’keeper, posting a 13-13-6 record.

The club will also be without teenage star Alphonso Davies, who has moved to Germany to play with Bayern Munich following a record-breaking transfer deal.

Seven other players have had their contracts extended, including Canadian defenders Doneil Henry and Brett Levis, midfielders Nicolas Mezquida, David Norman Jr. and Yordy Reyna, striker Erik Hurtado and ’keeper Sean Melvin.

Making decisions on options has created some clarity around the roster, Dos Santos said.

“It gives us a better picture of everything,” he said. “By having made some moves, now we know what we need to do next.”

Deals have also run out for goalkeeper Brian Rowe, defender Sean Franklin, midfielder Cristian Techera and striker Kei Kamara, who led the ‘Caps in scoring with 14 goals and six assists last season.

Midfielder Jordon Mutch has also completed his one-year loan to the team and is under contract with Crystal Palace FC of the English Premier League.

Dos Santos said the ‘Caps haven’t yet spoken with any of the players whose contracts are up.

“We’re evaluating all of those situations,” he said. “Some of those players also want to look at some possibilities outside of MLS. So there’s a lot of things happening.”

The Whitecaps still have 10 other players under contract, although one — captain Kendall Waston — has publicly stated his intention to leave the organization.

Dos Santos said he hasn’t had a chance to speak with Waston yet, as the defender has been on duty with the Costa Rician national team.

“This is not a conversation that you have on the phone, in my opinion,” the coach said.

There are many holes in the ‘Caps lineup that need to be filled and the clubs is looking “for everything,” Dos Santos said.

The organization will be “very active” during the off-season, he said, starting with Major League Soccer’s half-day trade window on Dec. 9. Free agency will begin on Dec. 11.

There may be spots for league veterans, but fans can also expect to see younger, more energetic and more dynamic players join the team, Dos Santos said.

“It’s not only looking at the player, it’s looking at the total package, looking at what they bring everyday in the locker room, how they train, their commitment to the club,” he said. “Everything counts when you’re making a decision on a player, not only if they score or if they don’t. We’re taking a long-term of this club.”

The opportunity to craft a roster is part of what drew Dos Santos to Vancouver. But change won’t happen all at once, he cautioned.

“People cannot expect that with one transfer window, we change everything in a club,” Dos Santos said. “Because when you change players, it needs to click. You need a little bit of time to make it click. But everything that’s being decided is looking at the medium and long-term of the club.”

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