Jay Herdman named to New Zealand Olympic team


VANCOUVER, BC – Whitecaps FC 2 (WFC2) midfielder Jay Herdman has been named to the New Zealand Olympic Men's Team, set to play at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

New Zealand are in Group A and will face Guinea on July 24, the United States on July 27, and and the hosts France on July 30.

Herdman, 19, has captained WFC2 to third place in the MLS NEXT Pro Western Conference, scoring five goals and adding three assists in 15 appearances.

On April 20, Herdman made his MLS debut as a second half substitute in a 2-0 victory at Seattle Sounders FC. In total, Herdman has signed three MLS short-term agreements this season. The midfielder signed his first short-term agreement in February for the club’s Concacaf Champions Cup Round One first leg against Tigres UANL and signed his second agreement for the MLS home opener against Charlotte FC on March 2.

Prior to the season, the New Zealand international participated in Whitecaps FC first team preseason in Marbella, Spain and Coachella Valley, California.

In November, the midfielder signed a new contract with WFC2 through 2024. Last season, Herdman tallied one goal and two assists in five starts and eight appearances during the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro regular season before his season was cut short due to a knee injury. In 2022, Herdman started nine of his 18 appearances in MLS NEXT Pro, tallying two goals as well as an assist.

Herdman originally entered the Whitecaps FC BMO MLS Academy as a 13-year-old in 2017 from Surrey United SC in the BC Soccer Premier League.

Internationally, Herdman has represented New Zealand 14 times across the U-19, U-20, and U-23 sides. Most recently, the midfielder was part of New Zealand’s squad at the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup. He started three of the Kiwis’ four matches at the tournament, scoring a goal of the tournament contender against Uzbekistan.