A talented midfielder/striker that represented Canada at the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup, Ethiopian-born Yassin Essa joined Whitecaps FC Residency on Sept. 7, 2010, after being a member of the club’s Prospects program.
MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER RESERVE LEAGUE
2012: Essa made his MLS Reserve League debut for Whitecaps FC reserves, as they drew 1-1 at home to Seattle Sounders FC reserves in the season opener on Mar. 26.
UNITED SOCCER LEAGUES PREMIER DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE
2012: Essa assisted on both of Residency striker Carlos Marquez’s two goals during Whitecaps FC U-23’s PDL season opener, as Vancouver won 3-0 at home to defending PDL champions Kitsap Pumas on May 4. 2011: In his first season in the PDL, Essa made a total of nine appearances for Whitecaps FC Residency, as they finished third in the Northwest Division of the PDL’s Western Conference. The midfielder/striker made his PDL debut when he replaced Ben Fisk during the second half of the 2-0 home defeat to Kitsap Pumas on May 1. He scored his first PDL goal during a 1-1 home draw with Tacoma Tide on June 3. Essa then scored again versus Tacoma Tide on July 8, as the Residency team won 2-1 away from home.
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC PROSPECTS
2009-10: Essa had an impressive season with the Whitecaps FC U-18 Prospects team, winning both the Men's Division One title in the Fraser Valley Soccer League and the 2010 Division One title in the summer-run Knight Soccer League.
U-17: After earning call-ups to training camps in February, April, and May of 2011 with Canada’s U-17 national team, Essa was selected to head coach Sean Fleming’s 23-player squad for the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico. At Mexico 2011, Essa started all three of Canada’s Group C matches. This included a 3-0 defeat to U-17 World Cup finalists Uruguay (June 19, 2011), a 2-2 draw with England (June 22, 2011), and a 0-0 draw with Rwanda (June 25, 2011). As a result, Canada missed out on the ‘Round of 16’ at Mexico 2011 after finishing third in Group C.
Essa’s youth soccer career includes a productive spell with hometown Surrey Football Club, where he was top league goalscorer during the 2006-07 season. He also excelled at high school level for Johnston Heights Secondary School in Surrey, BC, where he claimed the Domenic Mobilio Golden Boot award at the 2009 British Columbia AAA Secondary School Championship and his team’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) award. His efforts were also recognized by the BC Muslim Sports Association, who honoured Essa with their soccer league’s best rookie and MVP award. Essa was also involved in both the Alberta and British Columbia provincial team programs.
Born in Dera, Ethiopia, Essa immigrated to Canada and settled in Surrey, BC, where he lives with his extended family, Amima Jemal and Edris Jama. The midfielder/striker has two older siblings. As a student in Surrey, BC, Essa attended Harold Bishop Elementary School before enrolling at Johnston Heights Secondary School.
When not concentrating on his soccer career, Essa enjoys listening to music and playing basketball.