Vancouver Whitecaps FC today selected Generation adidas striker Omar Salgado as the first overall pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft. The talented teenager is the first non-collegiate player to be selected first overall since 2005.
"Omar is an exceptional young talent - he’s not only been gifted with outstanding natural athletic ability, but at only seventeen, he already posses a maturity, work ethic, and focus well beyond his years,” said Whitecaps FC president Bob Lenarduzzi. "Today is an historical day for our club and we are incredibly pleased we were able to select Omar as our first ever MLS SuperDraft selection."
Salgado, 17, comes to Vancouver as a current member of the United States U-20 national team. Born and raised in El Paso, Texas, the 6-foot-4, 175-pound striker recently participated in two USA U-20 camps in Florida.
Last summer, the striker scored his first international goal in his debut for USA U-20's at the Milk Cup in Northern Ireland. Appearing in all three of the USA's matches, Salgado helped the American U-20 squad prevail in the prestigious international youth tournament, as they defeated host nation Northern Ireland 3-0 in the Elite tournament final on July 30. Salgado signed with MLS as a member of 'Generation adidas' - a program that encourages early entry of elite players into the league - last July.
Before joining the USA U-20 squad, the young striker spent one season with the youth set-up of Mexican giants Club Deportivo Guadalajara - better known as 'Chivas' (Goats). Salgado scored seven goals in 10 appearances with the Chivas reserve side, with the youngster also spending time with the club's U-17 squad.
Salgado and Vancouver's eighth overall selection Michael Nanchoff are both Generation adidas players and their salaries do not count against the club's salary cap.
Whitecaps FC 2011 Major League Soccer season tickets start at a base price of $319, plus applicable tax and a $10 processing fee per order, and more than 60 per cent of seats are available for less than $31 per game. To secure a seat and for additional information about Whitecaps FC MLS season tickets, suites, and loge boxes, call 604.669.9283 or visit whitecapsfc.com.
About Vancouver Whitecaps FC
In 1974, Vancouver Whitecaps FC played their inaugural season in the North American Soccer League, and in 1979, the club won the NASL Soccer Bowl championship. From 1987 to 1992, as a member of the Canadian Soccer League, Vancouver won four straight CSL titles. In 2002, Whitecaps FC created a full club model that encompasses professional teams for men and women, extensive youth development and grassroots participation programs, facility development, and the Whitecaps Foundation to support specific initiatives related to health and wellness through soccer. Since 2004, Whitecaps FC have won two United Soccer Leagues First Division championships and two USL W-League championships. In 2011, Whitecaps FC will begin their inaugural season in Major League Soccer at Empire Field before moving into the new BC Place Stadium in downtown Vancouver.