Identification, development and placement as a professional player
A day in the life of a residency player
Whitecaps FC Residency is a full-time, fully funded, player development program unlike any other in North America. Residency is designed to maximize a player’s potential on and off the field through a “soccer lifestyle” philosophy linking technical and personal development. By integrating training, education and accommodation, all conveniently situated in Burnaby, Whitecaps FC Residency provides the perfect conditions to develop and prepare elite athletes for the mental and physical demands of professional environments in North America and Europe.
In September 2011, Whitecaps FC became the first and only Canadian club in America's premier youth academy system, the United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA). Entrance into the USSDA is part of a substantial expansion of the Whitecaps FC Residency program that will make it one of the most integrated soccer development programs in North America.
In September 2011, the Residency program grew from the previous squad of 25 players in the U-17 to U-19 age range to teams in the U-14, U-16, and U-18 categories. With this expansion, the full-time Residency program is primarily comprised of 80 of the top players from across British Columbia and Canada. Aspiring players can now enter the Whitecaps FC club system full-time as early as age 12, and be nurtured in an age appropriate learning environment, with gradational steps that will help them attain a successful professional and national team career.
Pre-Residency features players U-13 to U-15 separated into three squads; a U-13, U-14 and U-15 team for a total pool of 52-56. Players train in the evenings and attend their own schools. Exhibition matches are scheduled within the Pacific Northwest region against elite club teams, MLS Academies and other USSDA Pre-Academy teams.
Players graduate into the U-16 and U-18 program joining the USSDA. These teams feature 18 to 20 players per squad. Players train and attend Burnaby Central Secondary School as part of a holistic development program.
Successful Residency graduates enter the first team development environment that includes training and competitive opportunities in both Reserve team and PDL games.
“We are very excited to be part of the USSDA and thank the USSF for the opportunity,” said Dan Lenarduzzi, Whitecaps FC Director of Soccer Development. “We have had tremendous success with the Residency program over the past several years and this expansion of our club system represents a further substantial investment. The USSDA will now provide the important competitive platform needed for the top youth players from British Columbia and across Canada to thrive.”
The Development Academy is a partnership between US Soccer and the top youth clubs throughout North America, with the objective of providing players with the best opportunity to achieve their potential as elite soccer players. Whitecaps FC Residency will play in the Northwest Division of the Western Conference alongside fellow Major League Soccer rivals Seattle Sounders FC and San Jose Earthquakes, as well as Washington State’s Crossfire Premier and some of the top youth clubs in California. Other Western Conference MLS club academies include Real Salt Lake, Chivas USA, and Los Angeles Galaxy.
International standards and preparation
- Individualized programs using statistical and video analysis
- Age specific training with emphasis on speed of play and performance criteria
- Sports Science programs including strength and conditioning, psychology, nutrition, and medical support
- Competitive environments including elite competitions and tournaments.
Professional facilities, education and lifestyle planning
- First class full-time education is provided through the Burnaby Central Secondary elite athlete program
- Accommodation is provided through the Whitecaps Billet Program where players are hosted by local families
- Residency is head-quartered at the Burnaby Lake 8-Rinks Sport Complex and Simon Fraser University fields. 8-rinks includes office space, medical and changing rooms, gym access and training fields.
Whitecaps FC Residency has become a symbol of the club’s dedication and investment in player development, with the program aimed to increase professional opportunities for Canadian players. This has included Residency graduates such as two-time Canadian U-17 Player of the Year Russell Teibert, who has earned a starting spot on Whitecaps FC's MLS team as an 18-year-old. In 2011 alone, Whitecaps FC placed 13 players on Canadian Soccer Association U-17 and U-20 men's national teams.
Whitecaps FC are committed to collaborating with partner clubs, provincial and national programs. The recent establishment of the new EA SPORTS BC Soccer Premier League will provide an opportunity to work closely with BC Soccer and the new franchises to create a natural feeder system into the club’s Residency program.
“We are very pleased to see the effort and energy that Whitecaps FC have invested in player development in BC and look forward to seeing homegrown success on the soccer stage,” said Paul Mullen, executive director of BC Soccer. “The Committee and the BC Soccer staff are looking forward to working with the Whitecaps to build and develop similar co-branded programs in the future.”
Players are identified through our extensive scouting network and player evaluation processes. In accordance with MLS territorial regulations, Whitecaps FC recruit players from BC, Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and parts of Eastern Canada. The primary objective is to identify local (BC-based) and Canadian players.
For further recruiting inquiries, please contact: