VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced today the signing of midfielder Mehdi Ballouchy. The club acquired Ballouchy’s rights with the seventh pick in Stage 2 of the 2013 MLS Re-Entry Draft on December 18. Per MLS and club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
“We are excited to welcome Mehdi to Vancouver,” said Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson. “Having had the opportunity to work with Mehdi in New York, I am very familiar with the type player he is on the field and professional he is off the field. Mehdi will be a great addition to our club.”
Whitecaps FC midfielder Mehdi Ballouchy
- Recorded 13 goals and added 25 assists in 190 MLS appearances over eight seasons
- Finalist for 2006 MLS Rookie of the Year
- First-Team All-American at Santa Clara University
"I’m excited to be in Vancouver,” added Balloucy. “This is a great club, with a fantastic atmosphere, and terrific players and staff. Robbo is someone I think really highly of. He knows the game very well and I’m excited to be in his plans."
In eight MLS season, with four clubs, Ballouchy, 30, has made 185 regular season appearances, while contributing offensively with 13 goals and 24 assists. The experienced midfielder has also made five appearances in postseason play, recording one assist.
Most recently, the native of Casablanca, Morocco, spent the past two years with San Jose Earthquakes, starting five of his 11 appearances before missing much of each season with an anterior-cruciate ligament injury. Ballouchy is currently rehabbing his right knee after undergoing surgery on August 30, 2013.
Prior to joining San Jose, Ballouchy played for New York Red Bulls and Colorado Rapids, scoring 11 goals and recording 23 assists over the course of five and a half seasons between the two clubs.
Originally, the 5-foot-11 midfielder signed a Generation adidas contract with MLS and was taken second overall by Real Salt Lake at the 2006 MLS SuperDraft, spending one and a half seasons in Utah while scoring two goals and recording two assists. In his first season, Ballouchy was one of 10 MLS players to feature in all 32 regular season matches for his club and was one of three finalists for the MLS Rookie of the Year award.
At the collegiate level, Ballouchy spent one season at Creighton University, where he led the Bluejays to the semifinals of the 2002 College Cup, before transferring to Santa Clara University. At Santa Clara, he was a NSCAA, Soccer America and Soccer Time First-Team All-American and one of 15 semifinalists for the MAC Herman Trophy, awarded to the top college player in the country.
Before moving to the United States, Ballouchy developed through the youth system of Raja Casablanca in his native Morocco.
Internationally, Ballouchy represented Morocco at both the U-16 and U-17 national team levels before moving to the United States at age 16.
Pronunciation: MEH-dee BAH-loo-chee
Weight: 170 pounds
Date of Birth: April 6, 1983, in Casablanca, Morocco
Hometown: Casablanca, Morocco
Status: Domestic (Green Card)
Previous Club: San Jose Earthquakes (MLS)
How Acquired: Seventh pick in Stage 2 of MLS Re-Entry Draft on December 18
Whitecaps FC begin their 2014 MLS season on March 8 versus New York Red Bulls at BC Place. Season tickets start at just $349, subject to applicable fees. The 'Caps also offer a flexible range of ticket products, including half-season tickets ($244), 5-packs ($149), student season tickets ($199), and a youth soccer half-season ticket ($100). For more information on all Whitecaps FC ticket options, call 604.669.9283 ext. 2 or visit whitecapsfc.com/tickets.