PORTLAND, OREGON – Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-16 Residency midfielders Thomas Gardner and David Norman, as well as midfielder/striker Noah Verhoeven, were among 54 players from MLS Academies selected to participate in the Generation adidas Elite Soccer Program (ESP) Showcase in Portland, Oregon from July 31 to August 5.
Held in conjunction with the MLS All-Star Game, the Generation adidas ESP Showcase is a gathering of some of the top talent from MLS Academies. The 54 players selected have been separated into three Youth All-Star teams (West, East, and Central), who along with FC Bayern Munich U-16 Academy, will compete in a four-team round robin tournament.
Gardner, who played for Metro Vancouver’s North Shore, joined the Whitecaps FC Residency program in September 2011. During the most recent United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) season, the native of North Vancouver notched seven goals in 28 appearances, good for second on the club in scoring.
Norman, who played for Coquitlam Metro-Ford and represented Canada with the U-15 team at the Mexican Cup of Nations in 2013, joined Whitecaps FC Residency in 2011. This season, the Coquitlam native started in 20 of his 25 regular season appearances in USSDA action, recording one goal against Chivas USA U-16 on February 9.
Verhoeven, who joined Whitecaps FC Residency in 2011 after completing the club’s Prospects program, made three substitute appearances throughout the 2014 USSDA season for the U-16s.
All three young ‘Caps will play for the All-Star Youth West Team, who will open the showcase with a matchup against East on August 1 at Providence Park, the home of MLS side Portland Timbers. West will follow that up with showdown against Bayern Munich on August 3, and they’ll close out the tournament against Central on August 5. The last two matches will take place at Tualatin Hills Recreation Center in Beaverton, Oregon.
Match day 1: Friday, August 1 (Providence Park)
- 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM – East All-Star Youth Team vs. West All-Star Youth Team
- 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM – FC Bayern U16 Academy vs. Central All-Star Youth Team
Match day 2: Sunday, August 3 (Tualatin Hills Recreation Center)
- 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM – East All-Star Youth Team vs. Central Youth All-Star Team
- 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM – FC Bayern U16 Youth vs. West Youth All-Star Team
Match day 3: Tuesday, August 5 (Tualatin Hills Recreation Center)
- 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM – West Youth All-Star Team vs. Central Youth All-Star Team
- 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM – FC Bayern U16 Academy vs. East Youth All-Star