Ethan Gage signs with Reading FC
Former Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency product Ethan Gage has joined Reading FC of the English League Championship - pending the acquisition of a United Kingdom work permit and international transfer clearance.
The native of Cochrane, Alberta, has signed with The Royals until the end of the 2010-11 English league season, with Reading having the option to extend that contract by a further 12 months in the summer. The 19-year-old's move to England comes after a successful training spell with the Berkshire-based outfit earlier this month.
"Having been a Reading player myself, Ethan's move to The Royals comes very close to home for me, as it is a club that I still follow very closely," said Whitecaps FC president Bob Lenarduzzi. "From the time he made his Whitecaps FC debut as a 17-year-old in 2008, Ethan has shown he is capable of contributing in any team that he plays for. He's the type of player that no one would enjoy playing against. Hopefully, Ethan does well enough with Reading to earn a contract extension with them."
A member of the inaugural Whitecaps FC Residency squad, Gage's third and final season with the Blue and White saw him start five of his 11 appearances for 564 minutes of action in 2010. In three years with the 'Caps first team, Gage started 21 of his 42 total appearances for 2,065 minutes of action, scoring one goal in the process.
Named Canadian U-20 Player of the Year in 2010, Gage has been a member of Canada's U-20 national team since December 2008, while he also earned a recent call-up to the Canadian U-23 Olympic squad last November.
The club will retain Gage's Major League Soccer rights, should he return to North America in the future.