Vancouver Whitecaps sign Canadian international defender David Edgar

Birmingham City's David Edgar and Charlton Athletic's Igor Vetokele

The former Newcastle United youngster was released by Birmingham City earlier this summer.

Picture Supplied by Action Images

The Vancouver Whitecaps have announced the signing of Canadian international defender David Edgar to an 18-month contract with an option.

The 29-year-old centre-back, who was released by Birmingham City at the end of last season, returns to his homeland after spending his entire club career in the UK and will now be counted on to shore up a Whitecaps defence that has conceded 33 goals through their first 19 games of the 2016 MLS campaign.

“We are thrilled to add David to the group,” Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson told the club’s official website. “He is a good size, a natural organizer, and brings a wealth of playing experience at very good levels in England from a young age.”

Edgar, who can play anywhere across the backline or in a deep-lying midfield role, added: “I'm delighted to sign for Whitecaps FC and especially to be back in Canada. After all my years in England, it has always been in my plans to come and be a part of MLS. I'm very excited for this next step in my career and to be a part of a fantastic organization like Whitecaps FC.

“I already feel at home at BC Place being part of the Canadian national team and the recent World Cup qualifiers here. Hopefully there are many more exciting times ahead for the fans and for this team. I can't wait to get started.”

Picture Supplied by Action Images

A native of Kitchener, Ontario, Edgar first left Canada in 2001 at the age of 14 to join Newcastle United and went on to make 23 total appearances for the club following his first-team debut in 2006.

After eight years with the Magpies, the 6ft 4in defender linked up with Burnley in the summer of 2009 on a free transfer and spent the next five seasons at Turf Moor, scoring four goals in 114 games before moving on to Birmingham after his contract expired.

He only featured 19 times for the Championship side during his two-year stint at St Andrew’s, however, and spent the whole of last season on loan at League One's Sheffield United following a previous short-term spell with Huddersfield Town during the 2014-15 campaign.

David Edgar of Birmingham City celebrates with team mates after scoring their first goal

At the international level, the versatile Canadian has started 34 of his 37 appearances for Les Rouges, scoring three times, and captained the team during last month’s friendlies against Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan.

As a free agent, he had been training with the Whitecaps prior to putting pen to paper and will be eligible to feature for them upon receipt of his international transfer certificate.

The club currently sit sixth in the Western Conference ahead of Wednesday night’s home game against third-placed Real Salt Lake, having recorded seven wins, four draws and suffered eight defeats to leave them with 25 points after 19 matches.

Vancouver Whitecaps head coach Carl RobinsonVancouver Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch