Whitecaps FC select ten players in MLS 2010 Expansion Draft - Trade four selections to three MLS clubs

'Caps make a number of moves on draft day

VANCOUVER, BC - Vancouver Whitecaps FC took a huge step towards the building of their inaugural Major League Soccer roster today by selecting 10 players in the 2010 MLS Expansion Draft. Following Wednesday's draft, Whitecaps FC dealt four of their selections to three MLS clubs.

"Today was another important milestone in the building of our squad for our first season in Major League Soccer," said Whitecaps FC president Bob Lenarduzzi. "We are pleased with the selections we have made in this Expansion Draft, and we look forward to seeing these new players compete with members of our current squad for spots in our inaugural MLS roster."

Whitecaps FC and fellow MLS expansion cousins Portland Timbers each made their draft selections from a list of nearly 200 MLS players that were made available by the 16 existing MLS clubs on Monday. Making the draft selections for Whitecaps FC were director of soccer operations Tom Soehn, head coach Teitur Thordarson, president Bob Lenarduzzi, and director of professional teams Greg Anderson.

In order of selection, Whitecaps FC picked Seattle Sounders FC winger Sanna Nyassi (Round One), FC Dallas midfielder/striker Atiba Harris (Round Two), Seattle Sounders FC defender Nathan Sturgis (Round Three), Philadelphia Union midfielder Shea Salinas (Round Four), Chivas USA striker Alan Gordon (Round Five), Toronto FC forward O'Brian White (Round Six), Philadelphia Union striker Alejandro Moreno (Round Seven), San Jose Earthquakes goalkeeper Joe Cannon (Round Eight), Sporting Kansas City defender Jonathan Leathers (Round Nine), and Chicago Fire midfielder John Thorrington (Round Ten).

Following the Expansion Draft, Whitecaps FC traded their first pick in Sanna Nyassi to 2010 MLS Cup champions Colorado Rapids for an international player spot. Vancouver then dealt fifth-round selection Alan Gordon back to Chivas USA for another international player spot, as well as seventh-round selection Alejandro Moreno to Chivas USA for allocation money. Vancouver also traded their sixth-round selection in O'Brian White to Pacific Northwest rivals Seattle Sounders FC for allocation money.

Whitecaps FC 2010 MLS Expansion Draft selections

Second-round pick Atiba Harris, 25, joins Whitecaps FC from MLS Cup finalists FC Dallas. Standing at 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds, the St. Kitts & Nevis international had previous MLS spells with Real Salt Lake and Chivas USA. The Caribbean import started his professional career as a youth trainee at English Premier League giants Newcastle United FC.

As the 'Caps third selection, defender Nathan Sturgis, 23, makes the short move up Interstate 5 to Vancouver from Seattle Sounders FC, where he appeared in the Washington State club's first two MLS seasons. Prior to his spell in The Emerald City, the 5-foot-10, 150-pound Sturgis spent time with Real Salt Lake and Los Angeles Galaxy, who made them their 12th overall pick in the 2006 MLS SuperDraft.

Fourth-round pick Shea Salinas, 24, arrives in Vancouver from 2010 MLS expansion club Philadelphia Union. A 5-foot-10, 150-pound winger, the native of Lubbock, Texas, spent two seasons with San Jose Earthquakes before joining Philadelphia after being selected by the Union in the 2009 MLS Expansion Draft.

Whitecaps FC's eighth pick was two-time MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Joe Cannon, 35, from San Jose Earthquakes. An athletic shot-stopper with great reflexes, the 6-foot-2, 200-pound Cannon comes to Vancouver with 12 years of MLS experience. The native of Sun Valley, Idaho, also played for the previous edition of the Earthquakes (now Houston Dynamo), Colorado Rapids, and Los Angeles Galaxy. He led San Jose to their first MLS Cup title in 2001, while he also appeared against the 'Caps as a member of the Galaxy during an international friendly at BC Place on November 7, 2007.

Vancouver's ninth selection was defender Jonathan Leathers, 25, from Sporting Kansas City. Drafted in the second round of the 2008 MLS SuperDraft, the native of Athens, Georgia, made a total of 36 appearances in three MLS seasons for the American Midwest club - who were known then as Kansas City Wizards.

As the tenth and final pick, midfielder John Thorrington, 31, joins Whitecaps FC from Chicago Fire. Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, the native of Palos Verdes Peninsula, California, spent six seasons with the Fire after joining the Illinois outfit prior to the 2005 season. A former Manchester United FC trainee, the USA international had spells in Europe with German Bundesliga outfit Bayer Leverkusen and English clubs Huddersfield Town FC and Grimsby Town FC.

Atiba Harris
Position: Midfielder/Forward
Height: 6-03
Weight: 185
Born: January 9, 1985, in Basseterre, St. Kitts and Nevis
Last Club: FC Dallas
Citizenship: St. Kitts and Nevis
How Acquired: Expansion Draft on November 24, 2010

Nathan Sturgis
Position: Defender
Height: 5-10
Weight: 150
Born: July 6, 1987, in Boca Raton, Florida
Last Club: Seattle Sounders FC
College: Clemson University
Citizenship: United States
How Acquired: Expansion Draft on November 24, 2010

Shea Salinas
Position: Midfielder
Height: 5-10
Weight: 150
Born: June 24, 1986, in Lubbock, Texas
Last Club: Philadelphia Union
College: Furman University
Citizenship: United States
How Acquired: Expansion Draft on November 24, 2010

Joe Cannon
Position: Goalkeeper
Height: 6-02
Weight: 200
Born: January 1, 1975, in Sun Valley, Idaho
Last Club: San Jose Earthquakes
College: Santa Clara University
Citizenship: United States
How Acquired: Expansion Draft on November 24, 2010

Jonathan Leathers
Position: Defender
Height: 5-09
Weight: 160
Born: November 5, 1985, in Athens, Georgia
Last Club: Sporting Kansas City
College: Furman University
Citizenship: United States
How Acquired: Expansion Draft on November 24, 2010

John Thorrington
Position: Midfielder
Height: 5-08
Weight: 150
Born: October 17, 1979, in Johannesburg, South Africa
Last Club: Chicago Fire
Citizenship: South Africa
How Acquired: Expansion Draft on November 24, 2010

More than 15,000 Whitecaps FC season ticket deposits have been sold for the club’s inaugural season in MLS. Season ticket deposit holders will be able to choose from seven different seating categories starting at a base price of $319, plus applicable tax and a $10 processing fee per order. Pricing starts at less than $17 per game and more than 60 per cent of seats are available for less than $31 per game. To secure a seat and for additional information about Whitecaps FC MLS season tickets, suites, and loge boxes, call 604.669.9283 or visit whitecapsfc.com.

About Vancouver Whitecaps FC
In 1974, Vancouver Whitecaps FC played their inaugural season in the North American Soccer League, and in 1979, the club won the NASL Soccer Bowl championship. From 1987 to 1992, as a member of the Canadian Soccer League, Vancouver won four straight CSL titles. In 2002, Whitecaps FC created a full club model that encompasses professional teams for men and women, extensive youth development and grassroots participation programs, facility development, and the Whitecaps Foundation to support specific initiatives related to health and wellness through soccer. Since 2004, Whitecaps FC have won two United Soccer Leagues First Division championships and two USL W-League championships. In 2011, Whitecaps FC will begin their inaugural season in Major League Soccer at Empire Field before moving into the new BC Place Stadium in downtown Vancouver. For additional information on Vancouver Whitecaps FC, visit whitecapsfc.com.