Canadian standouts return to play for Whitecaps FC
Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced on Friday the addition of goalkeepers Justine Bernier (pictured) and Gurveen Clair, and midfielders Paige Adams and Natalie Boyd to the club’s 2012 United Soccer Leagues (USL) W-League roster – pending Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) and USL approval.
All four players have previously played for Whitecaps FC, while Clair, Adams, and Boyd are also graduates of the Whitecaps FC Prospects program (now known as the Girls Elite program).
“It’s fantastic to see players come through our program and go on to have very strong college careers, and now come back to play for the club again,” said Jesse Symons, Whitecaps FC women’s head coach. “We look forward to seeing these players produce some exciting performances and be a big part of our team this year.”
Bernier, 23, returns to Whitecaps FC after previously playing with the club during the 2008 W-League season, starting four matches and posting a record of 2W-0L-2D. Last season in the W-League, the Oakville, Ontario, native played for Hamilton FC Rage, starting 11 matches with one shutout. In 2009, Bernier started all 14 matches for Toronto Lady Lynx and recorded four shutouts. The Canadian shot stopper also played with the Lady Lynx from 2005 to 2007, appearing in a total of 23 matches and posting 12 shutouts.
In addition to her W-League career, Bernier played four successful seasons of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) soccer at the University of Alabama (2007-2011). In her senior season in 2011, Bernier tied a single season school record with seven shutouts. During her time with Alabama, Bernier became the first player in Tide program history to earn All-SEC honours in all four seasons at the school. She also holds the school’s career records for saves (453) and shutouts (21), and is second in wins (29).
Internationally, Bernier has been in the Canadian national team program from the U-16 to senior national team levels. In 2010 and 2011, Bernier was called up to the senior Canadian women’s national team. In 2008, she was part of the Canadian U-20 squad that won the CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship and went on to participate in the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.
Clair, 20, rejoins the ‘Caps after last playing for the club during the 2010 W-League season. In 2011, the Surrey, BC, native played for provincial rivals Victoria Highlanders FC in their inaugural W-League season, making seven appearances and recording one shutout.
A graduate of the Whitecaps FC Prospects program, Clair recently completed her first season of NCAA soccer at Washington State University after redshirting in 2010. In her first year of play, the Surrey Breakers product made 23 appearances and recorded seven shutouts.
In 2010, Clair took part in camp with Canada’s senior women’s national team in Italy. That same year she was also called into camp for Canada’s U-18 national team. Additionally, Clair is a former member of the BC Soccer Provincial Teams program and the National Training Centre.
Adams, 22, returns for her fifth season with Whitecaps FC after last playing for the club during the 2009 W-League season. In her five seasons with the ‘Caps, the Port Coquitlam, BC, native has made a total of 24 appearances and recorded one assist. During her first season in 2006, Adams made eight appearances, including playing in the W-League championship final as Whitecaps FC captured their second W-League title in three years.
Collegiately, Adams has excelled playing NCAA soccer at the University of Wisconsin for the past three years. After missing the 2010 season due to injury, the Coquitlam Metro-Ford product returned to the field in 2011 and made 14 appearances, tallying one goal. In her freshman season in 2009, Adams earned Big Ten All-Freshman Team honours after starting all 14 matches for the Badgers, scoring three goals and recording three assists.
On the international stage Adams has played for Canada at the youth level, while also previously being called into camp for the senior Canadian national team. In total, Adams made 12 appearances for the Canadian U-20 women’s national team. In 2006, she played for Canada at the CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championship and subsequent FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship. In 2008, she was part of the squad that won the CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championship before playing in the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. As well, Adams is an alumnae of the BC Soccer Provincial Teams program and National Training Centre.
Boyd, 21, comes back for her third season with Whitecaps FC after previously playing for the club during the 2009 and 2010 W-League seasons. The Surrey United product joined the ‘Caps women’s squad after captaining the U-18 Prospects team. Most recently, the Surrey, BC native spent the 2011 season with Newtonabbey Strikers of the Northern Ireland Premier League.
This past year, Boyd completed her junior season of Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) soccer at Trinity Western University, scoring three goals and recording seven assists in 20 appearances. In total, Boyd has scored five goals and recorded 15 assists so far in her three seasons with the Spartans.
Internationally, Boyd has experience participating in camp with Canadian U-17 and U-15 national teams. Like Clair and Adams, Boyd also took part in the BC Soccer Provincial Teams program and National Training Centre.
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 on May 18 at Langley's MacLeod Athletic Park against Colorado Rush. 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.