VANCOUVER, BC – Things are heating up for Whitecaps FC Saskatchewan Academy Centre players in March. Six players have already taken part in training camps in Vancouver, and later this month regional head coach Bryce Chapman will take over 50 Prospects and parents to Vancouver for training and a Whitecaps FC MLS match. Additionally, two University of Saskatchewan Huskie players will be signing for the 'Caps U-23 PDL team.
“It’s been our objective from the start of the centre to build a solid academy base in Saskatchewan for all Whitecaps FC academy players, but also to provide opportunities for selected players to train in Vancouver,” said Chapman. “It’s been a great March for opportunities and there is even more to come.”
In early March, Zac Edwards was invited into a Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) Western National ID camp in conjunction with Whitecaps FC. He was joined by Thomas Hasal who was invited to train with the Whitecaps Pre-Residency team.
Just this past week four players; Luke Mackie, Kuhle Bekwayo, Mathew Hnatiw, Marcus Baxter were invited in for a Whitecaps FC Academy Centre high potential camp and Pre-Residency Combine for three days in Vancouver where they trained with Whitecaps FC Residency staff, including Pre-Residency and Academy Centre head coach Bart Choufour.
“The Saskatchewan prospects were definitely some of the best of the bunch,” noted Choufour. “It’s great to see them being competitive with some of the best players of their age in Canada."
Choufour has visited the Saskatchewan Academy Centre several times and notes: "It is important to scout players at the centres, but it is also very important to bring the top players into our Whitecaps FC environment. This way we can see how they respond to what we teach in our centres right here in Vancouver against the top players."
Later this month, Chapman will bring over 50 prospects to Vancouver for their Whitecaps FC Academy MLS Weekend from March 27 to 30. Players will train daily, play matches, and watch Whitecaps FC take on Houston Dynamo at BC Place. “What a great opportunity for both the players and parents, not only for the training and games, but also to experience being in the professional club environment, watch a game at BC Place, at meet some players.”
To complete the March success stories, two University of Saskatchewan players will sign with Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23 team playing in the United Soccer Leagues (USL) Premier Development League (PDL) this Spring. Brett Levis and Jordian Farahani will suit up for Whitecaps FC and also have opportunities to train with the 'Caps first team training pool. Levis is in his third year as a Huskie and is a two-time All-Canadian and Canada West All-Star. He has worked with Chapman and attended the academy program since grade nine. Levis also had a trial with the first team last year and has now been invited back. to play with the U-23 squad. Farahani is in his fourth year with the Huskies and is also a 2011 and 2013 Canada West All-Star.
The Whitecaps FC Saskatchewan Prospects Academy is currently in its Spring phase, with registration also open for a spring Skills Academy and Girls Prospects program. There will also be a Whitecaps FC Saskatchewan Summer Prospects Camp announced soon.