Whitecaps FC launch 50 Iconic Players series


VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced on Wednesday a 50 Iconic Players series, featuring 50 of the more than 800 incredible players who have represented the club throughout the years.

The 50 Iconic Players series will be composed of 10 players from each of the following eras:

  • United Soccer Leagues (USL) W-League
  • North American Soccer League (NASL)
  • 86ers (Canadian Soccer League/American Professional Soccer League/A-League)
  • USL A-League/First Division
  • Major Leagues Soccer (MLS)

Starting with the W-League, fans are encouraged to submit their nominations at **whitecapsfc50.com/icons** for a chance to win The 50 Jersey.

Each list will be revealed around matchdays throughout the season.

Celebrate the club’s 50th anniversary, presented by BMO, Chevrolet, and MNP, all season long. Learn more about the club’s storied history at whitecapsfc50.com.

The club fielded a women’s team in the USL W-League from 2001 until 2012. After taking over Vancouver Angels, they started as the Vancouver Breakers in 2001 before becoming the Whitecaps in 2003. The team was a powerhouse and won the W-League championship with undefeated seasons in both 2004 and 2006. From 2001 to 2006, the team lost only four games, accumulating a record of 70W-4L-4D.

The 10 W-League players will be revealed leading up to the Women & Girls in Soccer Celebration match on March 30.

The original Vancouver Whitecaps were born in 1974 and played in the old North American Soccer League until 1984. The ’Caps were a force in the NASL, regularly competing as one of the top sides in the league, led by a mixture of Canadian talent and top players from across the pond. The most iconic moment, and one of the most revered in club history, was winning the 1979 NASL Soccer Bowl with a 2-1 win over Tampa Bay Rowdies – the first major professional North American championship for Vancouver.

The 10 NASL players will be revealed leading up to the 70s Match on June 1.

Following the demise of the NASL in 1985, a group was formed with the aim of keeping professional soccer alive in Vancouver – the West Coast Soccer Society. The initial investment group consisted of 86 individuals including many of the same people from the original Whitecaps, and they sought to reclaim the name but were unable to acquire it at the time.

Thus, the Vancouver 86ers emerged, playing at Swangard Stadium. The team played in the Canadian Soccer League (CSL) from 1987-1992, dominating with four straight league titles from 1988-1991, as well as the 1990 North American Club Championship. The 86ers also set a North American unbeaten record at 46 games (37 wins, 9 draws) from 1988-89. After the CSL folded in 1992, the club returned to playing American teams in the American Professional Soccer League (APSL), which was eventually renamed the A-League.

The 10 86ers players will be revealed leading up to the 80s Match on July 17.

The 86ers returned to the Whitecaps name going into the 2001 season, and prior to the 2005 season the league rebranded to the USL First Division. Energetic crowds came out to Swangard Stadium to watch their local heroes. The ‘Caps were a top side in USL-1, winning the league championship in both 2006 and 2008 and defeating MLS side Toronto FC on two occasions in the Canadian Championship, including the inaugural tournament.

The 10 USL players will be revealed following the 90s Match on August 24.

The modern-day era of the club began when MLS announced on March 18, 2009 that Vancouver would be home to the 17th team in the league. The opening day on March 19, 2011 was one to remember, with a brilliant 4-2 win over Toronto FC at Empire Field that will long live in club lore. The ‘Caps went on to become the first Canadian team to qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs in 2012 and have since won the Voyageurs Cup as Canadian Champions on three occasions, in 2015, 2022, and 2023.

The 10 MLS players will be revealed leading up to the 21st Century Match on September 14.