CSA & Whitecaps FC
Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency defender/midfielder Ethan Gage and midfielder Russell Teibert have each been nominated for 2008 Canadian Player of the Year awards by the Canadian Soccer Association.
Gage was selected as one of six male nominees for the Canadian Youth (U-20) Player of the Year award following an excellent 2008 season with the Whitecaps Residency and men's team. Teibert, who joined the Residency program for its second year of existence this past September, is one of six male nominees for the Canadian U-17 Player of the Year award.
Gage, 17-years-old, earned his first call-up to the Canadian U-20 national team this week after helping the Whitecaps men's team to their second USL First Division championship title in three seasons last October. Born in Cowansville, Quebec, but raised in Cochrane, Alberta, Gage impressed with his midfield displays in the semifinal, second leg, home win over Montreal Impact on October 5, and in the Championship Final victory over Puerto Rico Islanders at Swangard Stadium on October 12. The five-foot-eleven, 180-pound defender also played a key role in helping the Residency team reach the PDL semifinals in their first season in the league, having started every match in the regular season and playoffs during the summer.
Teibert, who turns 16 next Monday, received his first call-up to the Canadian U-17 national team for a training camp in Mexico last month. This included four appearances against Mexican youth sides, with the midfielder scoring a goal in a 5-1 win over Querétaro FC Youth on November 30. A native of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Teibert signed with the Residency program on August 20 after being a member of Toronto FC Academy's U-16 side and the Ontario provincial team, where he represented his home province from the U-13 to U-16 age group levels between 2004 and 2008.
Other nominees to be listed for the 2008 Canadian Player of the Year awards include six former members of the Whitecaps women's team in Candace Chapman, Martina Franko, Kara Lang, Erin McLeod, Sophie Schmidt, and Christine Sinclair, with all six in contention for the senior female player honour. Schmidt is also in contention for U-20 female player award alongside five members of last season's Whitecaps women's team in Allysha Chapman, Jonelle Filigno, Erin McNulty, Jodi-Ann Robinson, and Chelsea Stewart. 'Caps midfielder Monica Lam-Feist, meanwhile, is looking for her second-straight U-17 women's honour after receiving a nomination in that category earlier this month.
Voting for both the U-17 and U-20 awards will be split evenly between members of the Canadian national team coaching staff and all Canadian coaches that have taken A and B-level coaching courses. Voting will conclude on January 3, 2009, with the winners to be announced the week starting January 5, 2009.