Vancouver Whitecaps FC have announced that defender/midfielder Ethan Gage has been called up to the Whitecaps United Soccer Leagues First Division (USL-1) team from Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League (PDL).
The five-foot-eleven, 160-pound native of Cochrane, Alberta, signed with the full-time Residency program in July 2007 and has recently completed his first season in the PDL. As a midfielder with the Residency side, Gage lead the team in minutes played with 1699 and started all 19 PDL regular season and playoff matches. Offensively, he added two goals and one assist, as the Whitecaps finished second in the Western Conference Northwest Division regular season with an impressive record of 11 wins, four defeats and one draw – a record which earned Whitecaps Residency a conference semifinal appearance.
Gage is available for selection today, as the first-place Whitecaps (10-4-4) take on second-place Charleston Battery (9-6-4) at Blackbaud Stadium. The match is set to kick off at 3:00 p.m. PDT and can be seen live on USLlive.com. At 17 years and 87 days old, Gage is the youngest player in the Whitecaps Residency program and if he plays today he will be the fifth youngest Whitecaps player in franchise history (including the North American Soccer League team).
Prior to joining the Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency team, the young midfielder enjoyed three very successful years with the youth team for the Calgary Villains FC Elite. Gage was team captain and helped them to consecutive Alberta provincial championships in 2005 and 2006. Gage has also been a member of the Alberta’s national training centre program since 2005, and in 2006, he was a member of Canada’s U-15 men's national team. In representing the Alberta provincial team, Gage won a gold medal at the 2007 U-16 Canadian All-Star Championships.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency is a full-time program dedicated to developing North America’s top youth players in Vancouver. Whitecaps Residency allows elite youth players from U-17 to U-19 to achieve professional opportunities with the Whitecaps men’s team and world-class European clubs using the European club model of identification, development, and placement.