Eight Whitecaps FC players loaned to WFC2 ahead of 2017 USL season kickoff today

Kyle Greig action Langley

VANCOUVER, BC - Vancouver Whitecaps FC confirmed on Saturday that eight first-team players have been loaned to Whitecaps FC 2, ahead of their USL affiliate's 2017 season opener this weekend.

Goalkeeper Spencer Richey, defenders Christian Dean, Jake Nerwinski, and Cole Seiler, midfielders Marco Bustos, Deybi Flores, and Ben McKendry, and striker Kyle Greig will be available to Whitecaps FC 2 for the 2017 USL season. WFC2 kick off their season at LA Galaxy II at StubHub Center this afternoon at 2 p.m. PT - streamed live on Bustos did not make this weekend’s trip to California after playing 90 minutes for Canada in their 1-1 draw in Scotland last Wednesday.

The loans for the outfield players, include a Right of Recall, allowing free movement for the players between the MLS and USL sides at any point during the MLS regular season, subject to MLS roster compliance guidelines. There are no restrictions on the amount of time the players may be recalled.

Richey, 24, may be recalled to the MLS roster in the case of Extreme Hardship, such as last week's MLS match versus Toronto FC, when keeper David Ousted was serving a one-match suspension. The Seattle, Washington native made his MLS debut and was voted as winner of the MLS Save of the Week this past Thursday. The 61st overall pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft, Richey has posted a 12W-12L-5D record, including playoffs, along with a GAA of 1.59 and save percentage of 0.709 in two USL seasons.

Dean, 24, is off to a strong start in MLS play, earning back-to-back starts to begin the 2017 season. The product of East Palo Alto, California has one goal in 10 starts and appearances in his USL career, before being sidelined with injuries in 2016.

Nerwinski, 22, made his MLS debut on March 11 at San Jose after playing both Champions League matches against New York Red Bulls. The native of Lawrenceville, New Jersey and seventh overall selection in this year's MLS SuperDraft tallied five goals and 17 assists in four seasons at the University of Connecticut, starting 75 of his 81 appearances for the Huskies.

Seiler, 23, started 14 USL regular season matches with WFC2 in 2016, plus each of the sides three playoff matches. The 16th overall selection in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft out of Georgetown University and native of Anderson, South Carolina has two MLS career starts – back-to-back weeks at Houston and at Dallas in July 2016.

Bustos, 20, has 14 goals for Whitecaps FC 2, the highest total in the team's young history, in addition to four assists. The Winnipeg, Manitoba native, who earned his sixth cap for Canada this week, has one start and four appearances in his MLS career.

Flores, 20, makes his return after finishing 2016 on loan to C.D. Motagua in his native country of Honduras. Prior to his move, Flores started six of his eight USL appearances last season, recording one assist. He has six starts and 10 career appearances in his three MLS seasons.

McKendry, who turns 24 on Saturday, made his MLS debut on March 11 at San Jose along with Nerwinski. The 2015 WFC2 Player of the Year, who hails from Vancouver, British Columbia scored two goals in 19 starts and 20 regular season appearances in USL last year.

Greig, 27, served as WFC2 captain in 2016 while leading the side with 13 goals, plus three assists. One of four WFC2 players to sign an MLS contract in 2016 along with Richey, the native of Olathe, Kansas also scored a goal in each of the two WFC2 wins in the 2016 USL Cup Playoffs.  

Whitecaps FC 2 begin their home slate on Saturday, April 8 versus Cascadia rival Seattle Sounders FC 2 at McLeod Athletic Park in Langley, BC, where they play six of their home matches this upcoming season. The first of their 10-match home schedule at UBC Thunderbird Stadium is on Saturday, April 22 versus San Antonio FC. Click here for ticket information.