Vancouver Whitecaps FC announce the signing of midfielder Tyrell Burgess to the Whitecaps United Soccer Leagues (USL) First Division side. Burgess has agreed to a two-year contract, plus an option. The club have also signed goalkeeper Diego Aparecido Ferreira Oliveira (Diego) to the Whitecaps USL Premier Development League (PDL) team after the Brazilian agreed to a one-year contract, plus an option. The pair arrive in Vancouver, pending international clearance.
Burgess, 22-years-old, comes to Vancouver after spending three years at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida. In his senior season, the 6-foot-2, 175-pound midfielder finished second on the team in scoring with 10 goals and 10 assists in 20 matches with the Fighting Knights. For his efforts, Burgess was named to the NCAA Division II All-Sunshine State Conference (SSC) Second Team. In total, Burgess tallied 14 goals and added 14 assists in 53 games for Lynn.
Prior to his senior year at Lynn, Burgess helped Reading Rage of the PDL capture the 2008 Mid Atlantic Division regular season title, as well as the Eastern Conference playoff title. In 16 matches with the Rage, Burgess scored five goals and added three assists.
Burgess began his college career with NCAA Division III Rhode Island College in Providence, Rhode Island. As a freshman, he helped the Anchormen to an Eastern College Athletic Conference New England title after notching four goals and five assists in 18 matches.
The native of Smiths, Bermuda - who moved to Wilbraham, Massachusetts, when he was 16 - is also a member of Bermuda’s national team. He has nine senior caps for his country, having scored his lone goal in a 1-1 draw with the Cayman Islands during 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying last February. Burgess has also played for Bermuda’s U-17 and U-20 national teams.
The Whitecaps first saw Burgess during their player combine, which was co-hosted with USL Second Division side Harrisburg City Islanders, in Palmyra, Pennsylvania, this past December.
Diego, 22, joins the Whitecaps after being initially spotted with AC Corintians, who are a Brazilian first division club based in the state of Rio Grande do Norte, during a friendly match that was presented by The Soccer Paper last September at Swangard Stadium. The 6-foot-5, 205-pound goalkeeper was on a three-month loan from ABC FC, who are also a Brazilian first division club in the state of Rio Grande do Norte. As a member of ABC FC, he helped them win state championship titles in 2007 and 2008.
Prior to joining ABC FC, the native of Curvelo, Minas Gerais, Brazil, played three years with Villa Nova Atlético Clube of Nova Lima, Minas Gerais. Diego has also had spells with several Brazilian youth clubs, including Tombense and América in the state of Minas Gerais, as well as Botafogo de Futebol e Regatas from Rio de Janeiro and Santa Cruz FC from Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais.
Whitecaps 2009 season tickets are now on sale. Season tickets include all men’s and women's team regular season and playoff home matches at Swangard Stadium, Nutrilite Canadian Championship home matches against Toronto FC and Montreal Impact, as well as priority listing for BC Place and the proposed Whitecaps Waterfront Stadium. For more information on the 2009 season ticket packages, call 604.669.WAVE (9283) or CLICK HERE.