Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced today that defender/midfielder Kevin Harmse has been signed to the club’s Major League Soccer (MLS) roster. Per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
"Kevin is a physical player with MLS experience," said Whitecaps FC head coach Teitur Thordarson. "It is important to have local players on the team, and he's a Vancouver boy, who has played on the top level."
This will be Harmse's second stint in Vancouver after originally being drafted in the first tound (10th overall) by Whitecaps FC in the 2003 United Soccer Leagues First Division (USL-1) Draft. Prior to originally signing with Whitecaps FC, however, the product of Coquitlam, BC, played two matches with Norwegian Premier League club Tromsø Idrettslag.
Following his time in Norway, Harmse returned to Vancouver and made his Whitecaps FC USL-1 debut against Edmonton Aviators on April 30, 2004. The defender/midfielder finished the 2004 season with 12 appearances, one goal, and one assist. In 2005, Harmse appeared in 29 of Whitecaps FC's 32 games for 2,328 minutes of action, recording one assist in the process. Following his first spell in Vancouver, Harmse joined FC Nitra of the Slovakian Superliga, where he started 12 of his 13 appearances with the club.
“Being able to play where I grew up is very exciting,” said Harmse. “I never imagined professional soccer being like this in Vancouver. To be playing for the club in their first MLS year is a great opportunity for me.”
Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, the 26-year-old also brings three seasons of MLS experience to Thordarson’s squad. The defender/midfielder began his MLS career with Los Angeles Galaxy in 2007 before moving on to play two seasons for Toronto FC. Midway through the 2009 campaign, Harmse was acquired by Chivas USA. Following the season, he was traded to Houston Dynamo but departed the club prior to the start of the 2010 season.
Internationally, Harmse has made nine appearances for Canada, including the country's run to the semifinals of the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup. The 6-foot-0, 180-pound defender/midfielder also spent time with Canada's U-23 Olympic team, making five appearance and scoring two goals. At the U-20 level, Harmse represented Canada at the 2003 FIFA U-20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates, helping his country reach the quarterfinals before falling 2-1 in extra time to eventual champions Spain.
Harmse will join Thordarson’s squad in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on Friday and will be available for selection for Whitecaps FC's first-ever away match in MLS, as the ‘Caps take on Eastern Conference side Philadelphia Union at PPL Park on Saturday, March 26. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. PT and is live on Rogers Sportsnet One, TEAM 1410 radio, and teamradio.ca. Fans can also watch Saturday's game, and all of Whitecaps FC's MLS matches this season, on their Bell mobile devices.
Born: July 4, 1984, in Johannesburg, South Africa
Hometown: Coquitlam, British Columbia
Last Club: Houston Dynamo (MLS)
Following this weekend's away match against Philadelphia, Whitecaps FC return home to prepare for their third match of the season, as Vancouver play host to MLS Eastern Conference side Sporting Kansas City at Empire Field on Saturday, April 2, at 4 p.m. PT. Individual match tickets start at $20, plus applicable service charges, and are available at all Ticketmaster Ticket Centres, online at ticketmaster.ca, and Charge-by-Phone at 1.855.6.GO-CAPS (1.855.646.2277). Visit whitecapsfc.com for more information on individual match tickets for our inaugural MLS season.
Whitecaps FC's home match versus Sporting Kansas City can also be seen live on Rogers Sportsnet Pacific and Bell mobile devices at 4 p.m. PT. 'Caps fans can also listen to the April 2 contest live on TEAM 1410 radio and teamradio.ca, starting with the pre-game show at 2 p.m. PT. TEAM 1410 will also have a two-hour post-game show, which will begin following the match at around 6 p.m. PT.
Whitecaps FC Major League Soccer 2011 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.