'Caps quartet earn U-20 call-up
Vancouver Whitecaps FC, in conjunction with the Canadian Soccer Association, announce that defender/midfielder Adam Straith, midfielder Philippe Davies, and strikers Randy Edwini-Bonsu and Kyle Porter have all received call-ups to Canada's U-20 men's national team.
The quartet, all of whom are members of the Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency program, will join a 20-player squad in Florida for the third and final training camp before the 2009 CONCACAF U-20 Championship this March. Starting January 25 and ending February 4, former Whitecaps men's team head coach Tony Fonseca will take a second look at both Davies and Edwini-Bonsu, having had the pair in each of his two previous training camps before the New Year. Straith, meanwhile, has earned a third-straight call-up, while this will be Porter's first chance to train with the U-20 side, as Canada prepare to face hosts Trinidad & Tobago, Mexico, and Costa Rica in Group B between March 6 and 15. Porter and Straith are currently on loan to German club FC Energie Cottbus U-19 Junior Bundesliga team.
Straith, 18-years-old, returns after being part of the U-20 squad's 2008 training camps in Switzerland and Florida. The six-foot-two, 190-pound centre back scored his first U-20 international goal for Canada in a 1-1 friendly draw with Switzerland U-20's on November 26. Born in Vancouver, BC, but raised in Victoria, BC, Straith played 12 matches for 1,080 minutes with the Whitecaps United Soccer Leagues (USL) Premier Development League (PDL) team before joining Energie Cottbus for the 2008-09 season. After not being eligible in Cottbus’ first three U-19 Junior Bundesliga matches, Straith started the next nine games, scoring two goals. The defender has also made one start for Cottbus' U-23 side this season.
Davies, 18, makes his second straight appearance in the squad after being called into the U-20's Florida camp last month. The native of Longueuil, Quebec, found the scoresheet in a 3-0 non-sanctioned international exhibition win over Haiti on December 18 before earning a start in a 1-0 friendly defeat to USA U-20's on December 22. A member of the Residency program since its inception in September 2007, Davies was instrumental in helping the Whitecaps PDL team reach the semifinals last year. Last month, the midfielder started in the Residency team's first four matches of their successful 12-day tour of Japan. The six-foot, 160-pound Davies scored four goals in 13 appearances with Canada's U-17 national team between April 2006 and May 2007. He was also a predominant member of Canada's U-15 national team in 2005.
Edwini-Bonsu, 18, returns to the U-20 squad after being part of the team's 2008 camp in Switzerland, where he appeared as a substitute in the 1-1 friendly draw with Switzerland U-20's on November 26. Last month, the Edmonton, Alberta, native scored 11 goals in five starts during the Residency's undefeated tour of Japan. The 5-foot-5, 140-pound forward made four regular season substitute appearances in the USL First Division with the Whitecaps men's team in 2008, with his first team debut coming in his hometown of Edmonton during the 2-1 international friendly win over Major League Soccer club Los Angeles Galaxy on May 13. With Whitecaps Residency, Edwini-Bonsu earned a place in the PDL All-Western Conference Team after scoring nine goals and recording two assists in 15 regular season matches during the summer. His five goals in three playoff games helped Whitecaps Residency reach the PDL semifinals.
Porter, who celebrated his 19th birthday on Monday, will look to impress Fonseca in Florida after scoring one goal in 10 Junior Bundesliga appearances with Energie Cottbus U-19's. Before his loan move to Germany for the 2008-09 season, the native of Mississauga, Ontario, scored five goals and recorded one assist in 10 PDL appearances with Residency team last summer, having been a member of the program's inaugural squad during the 2007-08 year. Between September 2006 and May 2007, Porter earned six caps with Canada's U-17 national team.
Also included in the 20-man squad is Vancouver, BC, native Marcus Haber. The 20-year-old is currently on a preseason trial with the Whitecaps men's team following his release from Dutch Eredivisie club FC Groningen.
Canada will look to finish in the top two in Group B, as they aim to book their place at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt later this year. Canada have participated in half of the 16 U-20 World Cup tournaments that have taken place since 1977, including each of the last four finals. The last U-20 World Cup took place in Canada back in 2007.
Whitecaps 2009 season tickets are now on sale. Season tickets include all men’s and women's team regular season and playoff home matches at Swangard Stadium, Nutrilite Canadian Championship home matches against Toronto FC and Montreal Impact, as well as priority listing for BC Place and the proposed Whitecaps Waterfront Stadium. For more information on the 2009 season ticket packages, call 604.669.WAVE (9283) or CLICK HERE.