Derek Gaudet is trying out for the Vancouver Whitecaps.
The 19-year-old from Bayside, released from a developmental contract with Major League Soccer’s Toronto FC last month, will participate in training camp with the United Soccer Leagues First Division club for the next two weeks.
“It’s a good opportunity to compete at a high level,” Gaudet said. “They’re a professional club, very well run.”
Gaudet, a midfielder, spent last season with Toronto FC, making his MLS debut in September. The club decided not to exercise the option on his contract. Gaudet isn’t sure why.
“That’s a good question,” he said.
“They cut down a lot of roster spots, got rid of their entire reserve list, and cut down their developmental players to, like, two.”
Gaudet, who finished seventh in voting for the Canadian Soccer Association’s male under-20 player of the year, is a member of the national under-20 team that is attempting to qualify for the 2009 FIFA under-20 World Cup in Egypt.
Gaudet will travel to Macoya, Trinidad and Tobago, for the CONCACAF under-20 championship starting March 6. The event sends four teams to the World Cup.