Whitecaps FC announce details for 2014 U-23 team

Seven players added; Niall Thompson to serve as head coach

Colton O'Neill

Photo Credit: 
Bob Frid/Vancouver Whitecaps FC

VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC confirmed today details for the club’s 2014 United Soccer Leagues (USL) Premier Development League (PDL) team, Whitecaps FC U-23.

This year’s squad will be coached by former Whitecaps FC striker Niall Thompson, who has recently been working as a staff coach with the club’s Residency program. The English-born Canadian played for Vancouver 86ers in 1998 and with Whitecaps FC in the USL A-League during the 2002 and 2003 seasons. Internationally, Thompson scored two goals in nine appearances with the Canadian men’s national team.

“I’m thrilled to be back with the club and to take on the challenge of coaching the U-23 team,” said Thompson. “We’ve assembled some talented local players from the university ranks, combined with players from the Residency program. This will be another great opportunity for these players to get competitive matches and progress in their development.”

The core of the 2014 team will be comprised of seven Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) players from the Canada West conference. All seven players will be added to the roster, pending USL approval.

Returning from the 2013 squad are defender Colton O’Neill (University of the Fraser Valley), midfielders Harry Lakhan and Reynold Stewart (University of British Columbia), and striker Niall Cousens (University of British Columbia). Cousens was the leading scorer for the U-23 team last season with eight goals, and tied for the team lead with four assists.

New to this year’s team are defender Jordian Farahani and midfielder/striker Brett Levis (University of Saskatchewan). Coaching the pair at the University of Saskatchewan is Bryce Chapman, who also serves as Whitecaps FC Saskatchewan Academy regional head coach. Levis was previously with Whitecaps FC in August, training with the MLS squad and playing a Reserve League match against Seattle Sounders FC on August 26. Also joining the group for the first time is midfielder/striker Cody Cook (Mount Royal University).

The remainder of the 2014 Whitecaps FC U-23 roster will be made up of players from the club’s Residency program, as well as select loans from the MLS squad.

Whitecaps FC U-23 kick off their PDL season this coming Sunday, May 4, when they travel to Vancouver Island to take on Victoria Highlanders FC in the first match of the Juan de Fuca Plate rivalry. The winner of the annual series will be decided in the ‘Caps home opener when they host Victoria on Friday, May 23 at UBC Thunderbird Stadium. All home matches are free admission.

2014 WHITECAPS FC U-23 ROSTER

NAME

POSITION

HOMETOWN

SCHOOL/AFFILIATION

Cody Cook

Midfielder/Striker

Cranbrook, BC

Mount Royal University

Niall Cousens

Striker

Vancouver, BC

University of British Columbia

Jordian Farahani

Defender

Regina, SK

University of Saskatchewan

Harry Lakhan

Midfielder

Surrey, BC

University of British Columbia

Brett Levis

Midfielder/Striker

Saskatoon, SK

University of Saskatchewan

Colton O’Neill

Defender

Abbotsford, BC

University of the Fraser Valley

Reynold Stewart

Midfielder

Delta, BC

University of British Columbia