Canadian U-20 stars return to play for Whitecaps FC

Richardson, Sawicki, and Setterlund back with hometown club

VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced on Thursday the return of three Canadian U-20 national team players, as striker Jenna Richardson and midfielders Jaclyn Sawicki and Nicole Setterlund (pictured) have all been added to the club’s 2012 United Soccer League’s (USL) W-League roster.

The trio rejoin the ‘Caps after recently helping the Canadian U-20 women’s national team win a silver medal at the 2012 CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championship, earning Canada a place at this summer’s 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. All three players are graduates of the Whitecaps FC Prospects program (now known as the Girls Elite program).

“We’re thrilled to have three top young talents who’ve come through our development system return to play for the club,” said Jesse Symons, Whitecaps FC women’s head coach. “All three players have not only been excelling for their college teams, but also now for Canada. It’s very gratifying to see them do so well.”

Richardson, 19, returns for her third season with Whitecaps FC in the W-League. Last season, the product of Semiahmoo soccer club tallied five goals in eight appearances – including the winning goal in the 2011 W-League Western Conference final away to Santa Clarita Blue Heat.

“Jenna brings a very explosive attacking threat to the squad,” stated Symons. “She did very well in the W-League last year and we expect her to have an even bigger impact in 2012."

For the past two years, the native of White Rock BC, has also played National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I soccer at Oregon State University. This past season with the Beavers, Richardson started in each of her 19 appearances, scoring eight times and recording two assists for the second most points on the squad.

On the international stage, Richardson was a key member of Canada’s U-20 women’s national squad in their successful run at the 2012 CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championship tournament. During the tournament, the 5-foot-7 striker started each of Canada’s five matches and led the team with four goals. Richardson also had four caps and one goal for Canada during the 2010 CONCACAF Women's U-20 Championship in Guatemala.

Sawicki, 19, returns to play her second season with Whitecaps FC in the W-League after making two appearances during Vancouver’s 2011 season.

“Jaclyn is definitely a player that we want to have on the ball a lot and look to go at players one-versus-one,” said Symons. “Hopefully she’ll get around the goal and be able to create chances either with her playmaking abilities or finishing skills.”

In addition to playing with Whitecaps FC, the Coquitlam, BC, native has spent the past two seasons at the University of Victoria playing Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) soccer. Sawicki, a product of Coquitlam Metro-Ford soccer club, has started all 26 of her appearances in her two seasons. This past season, Sawicki scored three goals and registered six assists to lead the team with nine points in 12 games. Her performance saw her named a Canada West all-star and second-team CIS All-Canadian.

Like Richardson, Sawicki was also named to Canada’s U-20 women’s national squad at the 2012 CONCACAF U-20 Championship. The native of Coquitlam, BC, was given the start in all five of Canada’s matches during the tournament and scored a goal in a 6-0 semi-final win over Panama.

Setterlund, 19, returns for her third season with Whitecaps FC in the W-League after making three appearances during the 2011 W-League season.

“Nicole had a fantastic freshman year at Washington State,” said Symons. “We look forward to having her bring a strong presence to the team in a holding midfield or central midfield role.”

A native of Surrey, BC, Setterlund recently finished her freshman year of NCAA Division I soccer at Washington State University, appearing in each of the Cougar’s 23 matches while scoring one goal and recording two assists. Her performance saw her named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-Pacific Region Second Team.

Joining her compatriots Richardson and Sawicki, Setterlund made two appearances for Canada at the 2012 CONCACAF U-20 Championship. In 2010, the product of Semiahmoo soccer club captained her country to the CONCACAF U-17 Women’s Championship title in Costa Rica, and was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Additionally, Setterlund captained the team at the 2010 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Trinidad and Tobago, starting all three matches.

Following last week’s additions of defender Danielle Johnson and striker Mele French, this brings the current Whitecaps FC W-League roster to five players.

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.