VANCOUVER, BC – As part of their official partnership, Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced today that the club has loaned five players to United Soccer Leagues (USL) PRO side Charleston Battery.
Midfielders Aminu Abdallah and Andre Lewis, as well as striker Mamadou Diouf will join the Battery from Whitecaps FC’s Major League Soccer roster, in addition to U-23 striker Marlon Ramirez and U-18 defender Jackson Farmer.
Each player will join the Battery on season-long loans, pending receipt of their International Transfer Certificates and United States work permits and visas.
“Our partnership with Charleston provides a fantastic opportunity for our young players to progress in their development at a great club,” said Carl Robinson, Whitecaps FC head coach. “Each of these players will be given the opportunity to earn regular first-team minutes at a high level, which will only help as they continue in their careers.”
Abdallah, 20, joined Whitecaps FC in May 2013 after five years with Ghanaian club International Allies FC. The native of Accra, Ghana started 13 of his 14 appearances with Whitecaps FC Reserves in 2013, scoring one goal and recording one assist.
In PDL play, Abdallah scored one goal in 10 appearances with Whitecaps FC’s U-23 side. Before joining Vancouver, Abdallah trained with several major European sides, including Italy’s Juventus, Russia’s CSKA Moscow, and the Netherlands’ PSV Eindhoven.
Internationally, Abdallah has been part of Ghana's U-20 player pool.
Diouf, 23, will begin his professional career with the Battery after getting selected by Whitecaps FC in the second round (30th overall) of the 2014 MLS SuperDraft. The Dakar, Senegal native recorded an assist in his lone appearance with the ‘Caps during the preseason.
Prior to joining Whitecaps FC, Diouf spent four seasons with the University of Connecticut Huskies of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) American Athletic Conference. In total, the 6-foot-1, 170-pound striker scored 36 goals and added 10 assists in 74 career appearances with the Huskies.
Lewis, 19, joined Whitecaps FC as a youth international on January 16 after being selected seventh overall in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft. The Spanish Town, Jamaica native made three appearances with the ‘Caps during the preseason, scoring the game-winner in a friendly against the University of Victoria Vikes.
Previously, Lewis played for Jamaican National Premier League side Portmore United F.C. and was a standout for the Jamaican U-17 and U-20 outfits.
Farmer, 18, will begin his professional career with the Battery after three successful seasons developing in the Whitecaps FC Residency program. During the current 2013-14 United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) season, Farmer started all 12 of his appearances with the Whitecaps FC U-18 Residency squad, contributing offensively with one goal.
In addition to his time with the Residency program, the 6-foot-2 centre back also made two starts for Whitecaps FC Reserves, playing the full 90 minutes in each match.
On the international stage, Farmer earned his first cap for the Canadian senior men’s national team in a friendly match against Mauritania on September 8, 2013. The Edmonton, Alberta native has also had numerous call-ups to the U-18 national team.
Ramirez, 19, goes to Charleston after coming to Vancouver in the summer of 2013. The Honduran made four appearances with Whitecaps FC Reserves last year, while also making two appearances with Whitecaps FC U-23 in PDL play. Prior to joining the ‘Caps, Ramirez played in Honduras’ top-flight with C.D.S. Vida.
Internationally, Ramirez has represented his native Honduras at the U-20 and U-21 levels. The midfielder won a gold medal with the U-21 squad at the 2013 Central American games, scoring one goal in three appearances.
Whitecaps FC announced a one-year partnership with Charleston Battery on January 23, making the Battery the club's official USL PRO affiliate.
Weight: 170 lbs.
Born: January 7, 1994 in Accra, Ghana
Transaction: Vancouver Whitecaps FC send midfielder Aminu Abdallah on season-long loan to USL Pro side Charleston Battery on March 7, 2014
Weight: 170 pounds
Date of Birth: September 15, 1990, in Dakar, Senegal
Transaction: Vancouver Whitecaps FC send striker Mamadou Diouf on season-long loan to USL Pro side Charleston Battery on March 7, 2014
Weight: 145 pounds
Date of Birth: August 12, 1994, in Spanish Town, Jamaica
Hometown: Spanish Town, Jamaica
Transaction: Vancouver Whitecaps FC send midfielder Andre Lewis on season-long loan to USL Pro side Charleston Battery on March 7, 2014
Weight: 180 lbs.
Born: May 3, 1995, in Edmonton, Alberta
Transaction: Vancouver Whitecaps FC send defender Jackson Farmer on season-long loan to USL Pro side Charleston Battery on March 7, 2014
Born: April 17, 1994 in Rio Esteban, Honduras
Transaction: Vancouver Whitecaps FC send midfielder Marlon Ramirez on season-long loan to USL Pro side Charleston Battery on March 7, 2014
Whitecaps FC begin their 2014 MLS season on March 8 versus New York Red Bulls at BC Place. Season tickets start at just $349 and single-match tickets start at $22, 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.