Whitecaps call up 4 Residency players

VANCOUVER, BC - Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced today that goalkeeper Simon Thomas, defender/midfielder Navid Mashinchi, and strikers Randy Edwini-Bonsu and Dever Orgill have been called up to the Whitecaps United Soccer Leagues First Division (USL-1) side from Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League (PDL).

Thomas, 17, backstopped Whitecaps Residency to the PDL semifinal before bowing out to eventual champions Thunder Bay Chill 2-1 on August 2. During the regular season, the six-foot-two, 170-pound native of Victoria, BC, recorded nine wins and four defeats, while earning five shutouts and a goals-against-average of 1.000. Prior to joining the Residency program last summer, Thomas played his club soccer for the Victoria United U-18 Metro team and was a member of the 2006 BC U-16 provincial team. In 2004, he guided Victoria United to a first place finish at the 2004 BC provincial championships. Thomas also played high school soccer for Oak Bay Senior Secondary, where he attended school before entering the Residency program.

Mashinchi, 19, re-joins the USL-1 team after making his first-team debut as a late substitute in the 1-1 home draw with Charleston Battery on July 23. During the Residency's inaugural PDL season, the five-foot-eight, 140-pound native of Düsseldorf, Germany, appeared in 14 of the Whitecaps 16 regular season games, accumulating 1,237 minutes of action and scoring one goal. Mashinchi - who now calls Coquitlam, BC, home - joined the Residency program in September 2007 after making four appearances for Iran’s U-18 national team, with all four matches taking place in a four-team tournament that included Laos, Uzbekistan, and Bahrain in 2006. Prior to joining the Residency program, the defender/midfielder played club soccer with The Westside FC Rangers U-21 side of the Vancouver Metro Soccer League U-21 Division in 2006. Also, from 2003 to 2006, Mashinchi played for both the U-15 and U-17 teams of German third division club Fortuna Düsseldorf.

Edwini-Bonsu, 18, returns to the USL-1 side after making his first appearance last May in the Whitecaps international friendly versus Major League Soccer club Los Angeles Galaxy. Edwini-Bonsu played the final 12 minutes in the Whitecaps 3-1 victory in Edmonton, Alberta. Remarkably, only days earlier, the native of Kumasi, Ghana, was named Most Valuable Player in the INSEL-CUP junior international tournament - an international German tournament which saw the Residency team finish third. Following the Galaxy match, Edwini-Bonsu enjoyed a very successful first season in the PDL. In 15 regular season matches, the five-foot-five, 140-pound midfielder/forward led the Residency side in scoring with nine goals and two assists. In addition, he scored five goals in the Whitecaps three PDL playoff matches. His efforts earned him a place in the PDL All-Western Conference Team

Edwini-Bonsu, who started playing soccer when his family immigrated to Edmonton in 2002, earned 15 caps and scored two goals for Canada’s U-17 men’s national team. Edwini-Bonsu has also played for Alberta’s provincial team, winning gold at the National All-Star Championship in 2006. At the club level, Edwini-Bonsu played for South West United in the Edmonton Interdistrict Youth Soccer Association (EIYSA) between 2003 and 2006. In his last year with the club, he led the team to a second-place finish at the club national championship.

Orgill, 18, also returns to the first team after being called up earlier this season, though the forward has yet to see action with the USL-1 side. The six-foot, 150-pound native of Port Antonio, Jamaica, returns to the Whitecaps after spending the past month with Jamaica’s U-20 national team, as the Reggae Boyz reached the second round of Caribbean qualifying for the 2009 CONCACAF U-20 Championship. During the PDL season, Orgill appeared in seven games for the Residency team, amassing 399 minutes of action and scoring two goals. The striker joined the Residency program last September and has performed well in major international youth tournaments for the club. Most notably, last March, Orgill scored goals against the academy sides of Germany’s Eintracht Frankfurt and England’s Leicester City at Dallas Cup XXIX.

Internationally, Orgill was the captain of the 2007 Jamaica squad at the CONCACAF U-17 World Cup qualifiers, where he scored the game-tying goal against the USA, as the Reggae Boyz went on to defeat The Stars & Stripes 3-2. In 2005, Orgill earned the Golden Boot award in the Caribbean Football Union’s Under-15 tournament held in Trinidad & Tobago after scoring 12 goals in six matches. In total, Orgill has scored 22 goals in his 22 international youth appearances for Jamaica.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency is a full-time program dedicated to developing North America’s top youth players in Vancouver. Whitecaps Residency allows elite youth players from U-17 to U-19 to achieve professional opportunities with the Whitecaps men’s team and world-class European clubs using the European club model of identification, development, and placement.

The Whitecaps next match is this Sunday, August 17, when the United Soccer Leagues First Division leaders Puerto Rico Islanders make their lone regular season visit of 2008 to Swangard Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. For tickets, which start at $18, call 604.280.4400 or visit ticketmaster.ca. For information on group ticket and match packs, call the Whitecaps office at 604.669.WAVE (9283) or visit whitecapsfc.com.