Canadian national team stars join 2012 Whitecaps FC women's roster

Buckland and Scott available for May 18 home opener in Langley

VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced on Wednesday the addition of Canadian women’s national team midfielder Desiree Scott (pictured) and striker Chelsea Buckland, as well as the return of defender Nikki Ambrose and midfielder Erin Uchacz to the club’s 2012 United Soccer Leagues (USL) W-League roster – pending Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) and USL approval.

Ambrose, Buckland, and Uchacz all came through the Whitecaps FC Prospects program (now known as the Girls Elite program), bringing the total number of Prospects graduates added to this year’s W-League roster to nine so far. Buckland and Scott, meanwhile, also starred for the Canadian women’s national team as they qualified for the 2012 Olympic Summer Games in London. The pair are currently taking part in Residency camp in Vancouver as Canada prepares for the Olympics and will be available for the W-League home opener on May 18 at Langley’s McLeod Athletic Park, hosted by Langley United Youth Soccer Association.

“It continues to be pleasing to see players who have come through our program excel, both in college and internationally,” said Jesse Symons, Whitecaps FC women’s head coach. “Desiree is a player who we are very excited to have back and we feel she will have a huge impact in midfield. It’s also great to have Chelsea back, as she is becoming a very dangerous striker, while Nikki and Erin have been developing well and will benefit from spending another season with our women’s squad this year.”

Desiree Scott

Scott, 24, returns for her third season with Whitecaps FC after last playing for the club during the 2010 W-League season. In total, the Winnipeg, Manitoba native has started 11 of her 15 W-League appearances, contributing one goal and one assist in 2010 to help the ‘Caps reach the W-League championship final, while also playing on the squad that won the league title in 2006.

From 2005 to 2009, Scott played Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) soccer for the University of Manitoba. Her accolades with the Bisons included being named a first team CIS All-Canadian in 2009, as well as twice earning Canada West All-Star honours and winning the Canada West Rookie of the Year award in 2005.

Internationally, Scott has become a key member of Canada’s senior women’s national team. This past January, the hard-nosed midfielder started all four of her appearances in the 2012 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying tournament held at BC Place. She earned praise for her performance as Canada won a silver medal and a spot in this summer’s 2012 London Olympics. In total, Scott has started 20 of her 42 appearances for Canada since her debut in 2010. On the youth level, the Northwest Hurricanes product started all eight of her appearances for Canada’s U-20 women’s national team, playing in the CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship and the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship.

Chelsea Buckland

Buckland, 22, returns for her second W-League season with Whitecaps FC after previously playing with the club in 2009. During her lone season with the women’s squad, the Delta, BC, native made six appearances and recorded two assists. In 2008, she was the leading goalscorer for the Whitecaps FC U-18 Prospects in the Pacific Coast Soccer League (PCSL) Premier Women’s division with 11 goals on the campaign.

This past year, Buckland completed her junior season of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I soccer at Oregon State University. In her three years of action, the North Shore Girls Soccer Club product has started 37 of her 63 appearances, scoring 28 goals and recording nine assists. With a career high 11 goals and four assists in 2011, she was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-Pacific Region first team.

Like Scott, Buckland has also become a regular member of the senior Canadian women’s national team. In total, Buckland has made 12 international appearances at the senior level, including three matches during the 2012 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying tournament at BC Place. The rising young striker is also a former member of the BC Soccer Provincial Teams program and Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) National Training Centre program.

Nikki Ambrose

Ambrose, 20, returns for her second W-League season with Whitecaps FC after winning the PCSL Premier Women’s regular season championship and league cup with the Whitecaps FC U-18 Prospects team in 2010.

Collegiately, Ambrose has been playing NCAA Division I soccer at Santa Clara University since 2010. The Surrey, BC, native redshirted this past year after appearing in eight matches during her freshman season.

Internationally, Ambrose has been involved with Canadian youth national team programs, including selection to a U-20 training camp in December of 2010. The Semiahmoo Soccer Club product is also a former member of the BC Soccer Provincial Teams program and CSA National Training Centre program.

Erin Uchacz

Uchacz, 20, returns for her third W-League season with Whitecaps FC after being on the women’s team during the 2011 and 2010 W-League seasons. Like Ambrose, Uchacz also played for the U-18 Prospects team that won the 2010 PCSL Premier Women’s regular season championship and league cup titles.

For the past two years, Uchacz has also been a teammate of Buckland and fellow Whitecaps FC women’s player Jenna Richardson at Oregon State University. In 2011, the Port Coquitlam, BC native started 16 of her 21 appearances with the Beavers, scoring one goal and recording one assist.

Internationally, Uchacz was recently called into camp with the U-20 Canadian national team in the lead up to the 2012 CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship. The Coquitlam Metro-Ford product also participated in the BC Soccer Provincial Teams program and CSA National Training Centre program.

Tickets are now on sale for the 2012 Whitecaps Women’s Soccer Series presented by Kia. To purchase tickets, visit whitecapsfc.com/wtickets.

Whitecaps FC play their first home match against Colorado Rush on May 18 at Langley's McLeod Athletic Park, hosted by Langley United Youth Soccer Association. As in the past two seasons, Whitecaps FC will play their W-League home matches in various communities in British Columbia as part of the Whitecaps Women’s Soccer Series presented by Kia. Find the full Whitecaps FC 2012 W-League schedule HERE.