The United Soccer Leagues have announced that Vancouver Whitecaps FC midfielder Vicente Arze has been nominated as a finalist for the 2008 United Soccer Leagues First Division (USL-1) Rookie of the Year award.
The winger signed with the Whitecaps on January 31 after playing four years of NCAA Division I soccer with Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. The native of Santa Cruz, Bolivia, played in 26 regular season matches, including eight starts for 1,087 minutes. The 22-year-old scored his only goal this season on May 24 at PGE Park in Portland, Oregon, as the Whitecaps claimed an important 1-0 win over their Pacific Northwest rivals in the Timbers. Arze also earned two assists during his rookie campaign.
Arze will look to become the first Whitecaps player to win the USL-1 Rookie of the Year award since Giuliano Oliviero won it in 1995. In 2005, Joey Gjertsen was a finalist for the award.
Charleston Battery’s Osvaldo Alonso and Carolina RailHawks' Martin Nunez join Arze as the three finalists for the Rookie of the Year award.
The Whitecaps will battle Canadian rivals Montreal Impact in the USL-1 semifinals this weekend. The series will kick off in Montreal, Quebec, at Saputo Stadium on Friday, October 3, at 5 p.m. PT. The second leg will be played in Burnaby, BC, at Swangard Stadium on Sunday, October 5, at 3:30 p.m. PT.
Tickets for the Whitecaps USL-1 semifinal home playoff match are now available at all Ticketmaster outlets, online at ticketmaster.ca, and by phone at 604.280.4400. For information on group tickets, call the Whitecaps office at 604.669.WAVE (9283).