Vancouver Whitecaps FC announce the signings of striker Marcus Haber and defender Wes Knight. Haber has agreed to a one-year contract, plus an option, while Knight has signed a two-year contract, plus an option, with the club. Both deals are pending international clearance.
Haber, 20-years-old, joins the Whitecaps after spending three years in Europe. In July 2006, the 6-foot-3, 195-pound forward signed with the U-19 side of Dutch Eredivisie club FC Groningen. As a member of their U-19 A1 team, Haber scored nine goals in two seasons. He also played a handful of matches with Groningen’s reserve team before being released by the club last summer.
The native of Vancouver, BC, first started playing soccer with the Dunbar Soccer Association at the age of five. As an 11-year-old, he joined the Vancouver Selects as an underage player before helping them to a Canadian club championship title in early 2006. During his time with Vancouver Selects, Haber was also a member of the BC provincial team at the U-14, U-15 and U-16 levels. In 2005, the striker helped BC win a Canadian All-Star championship title. Before his move to the Netherlands in 2006, Haber was also a member of the U-17 BCSA/Whitecaps program.
For his accomplishments in 2005 and 2006, Haber was named the British Columbia Soccer Association (BCSA) Youth Player of the Year and was a recipient of the BC Premier’s Athletic Award in 2007.
As a Canadian international, Haber has represented his country from U-15 through to the U-23 Olympic levels. He was a starting defender during the FIFA U-20 World Cup Canada 2007 before making three qualifying appearances in Canada’s unsuccessful campaign to reach the 2008 Men's Olympic Football Tournament in Beijing, China. He is currently a member of Canada’s squad that is aiming to qualify for this year's FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt.
Knight, 22, comes to Vancouver after spending five years at NCAA Division I College of Charleston. The native of Easley, South Carolina - who red-shirted his freshman year with the Cougars - played 78 matches during his collegiate career, scoring two goals and adding seven assists. In his final two years with the Cougars, the right fullback was named to the All-Southern Conference team and to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-South Region Second Team. In 2007 and 2008, Knight also played in the United Soccer Leagues (USL) Premier Development League with the Florida-based Bradenton Academics.
Prior to his NCAA career, Knight attended Wren High School and was a standout player for the Hurricanes. He was a three-time All-Region selection, as well as a two-time All-State and All-Area team member. He earned Conference and All-Area Most Valuable Player awards and was selected to the North/South game. He was also named Anderson Independent-Mail Soccer Player of the Year as a member of the Hurricanes. With Greenville Futbol Club, Knight won seven South Carolina state youth championships, while in 2000 and 2001, he appeared in the USL Super Y-League for Greenville Lions.
Before signing with the Whitecaps, the 5-foot-11, 175-pound defender participated in last December's USL Men’s Player Showcase and last month's Major League Soccer Player Combine.
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.