VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced on Thursday that the club has signed Whitecaps FC BMO Academy midfielder Jeevan Badwal to a professional contract with Whitecaps FC 2 (WFC2).
The product of Surrey, BC first joined the Whitecaps FC BMO Academy as a 13-year-old in 2019, and becomes the 12th Canadian teenager to be signed to a professional contract since WFC2 began play in MLS NEXT Pro in 2022.
Whitecaps FC 2 midfielder Jeevan Badwal
- 17-year-old was the youngest player at Whitecaps FC preseason in Marbella, Spain
- Five starts in eight MLS NEXT Pro appearances as an amateur player with WFC2 in 2023
- Selected to the 2023 MLS NEXT All-Star Game
- Started all three matches for Canada at the 2023 FIFA U-17 World Cup
“We are pleased to sign Jeevan to a professional contract as he continues his development as a young player,” said Axel Schuster, Whitecaps FC sporting director. “In only two short years of having our MLS NEXT Pro team, we have shown that there is a clear path to our first team, and beyond. Jeevan has already gained invaluable experience during preseason, playing with seasoned professionals who have played at top levels around the world, and internationally. There is still hard work ahead but we look forward to helping him push forward during this next step in his career.”
All players signed to MLS NEXT Pro rosters are eligible to be called up on short-term agreements to the MLS roster. Whitecaps FC have led the league in call-ups since the league launched, signing nine different players to short-term agreements over the past two seasons, and have signed three players from the second team to the MLS roster.
Badwal, 17, is the youngest player participating in preseason camp with the first team, playing in preseason matches in Marbella, Spain against Hungarian first division sides Diósgyőri VTK and Puskás Akadémia, Serbian SuperLiga club FK TSC, and Norwegian top flight side FK Haugesund.
"I am very excited and honoured to have received a professional contract from WhitecapsFC," added Badwal. "It means a lot coming through the academy and growing within the system. I would like to thank my family, especially my parents, my teammates who have helped me excel, and my past coaches helping me grow. Thank you for all your support as I will keep on pushing!"
This past season, Badwal made five starts and eight appearances as an amateur player with WFC2 in MLS NEXT Pro.
Prior to moving up to MLS NEXT Pro, the young midfielder played with the Whitecaps FC BMO Academy in MLS NEXT, and was selected to the 2023 MLS NEXT All-Star Game.
On the international stage, Badwal has represented Canada at the U-17 level, starting all three matches at the 2023 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Indonesia.
In his youth, Badwal played at Coastal FC, Surrey FC, Supra Academy, and B.E.S.T. Academy.
Weight: 145 pounds
Date of Birth: March 11, 2006 in Surrey, BC
Hometown: Surrey, BC
Youth clubs: Whitecaps FC BMO Academy, Coastal FC, Surrey FC, Supra Academy, B.E.S.T. Academy