VANCOUVER, BC – Welcome home Sam.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced on Thursday that the club has acquired Canadian international wingback and BMO Academy graduate Sam Adekugbe from Turkish Süper Lig side Hatayspor. Adekugbe agreed to an MLS contract through 2026, with a club option for 2027. The transaction was completed on Wednesday, prior to the close of the Major League Soccer's Secondary Transfer Window. Adekugbe will be added to the club’s roster pending medical.
Whitecaps FC defender Sam Adekugbe
- Three appearances at the 2022 FIFA Men's World Cup for Canada
- 2022/23 Turkish Süper Lig Champion with Galatasaray
- 251 career appearances for club and country
- Whitecaps FC BMO MLS Academy Graduate, signed with first team in August 2013
“We are very excited to welcome Sam back to our club,” said Axel Schuster, Whitecaps FC sporting director. “Since I arrived in Vancouver, Sam has been on my radar as he fits the profile we look to attract. He brings a wealth of experience from his time overseas, was an important member in helping Canada qualify for the Men’s World Cup and is obviously very familiar with our club. Sam believes in what we are building here and wants to help us take the next step.”
- Catch Adekugbe in action at BC Place – secure seats at whitecapsfc.com/tickets
Adekugbe, 28, is a Whitecaps FC BMO MLS Academy graduate, having signed for the first team back in August 2013. The product of Calgary, Alberta went on to start 16 of his 23 appearances across all competitions for the Blue and White, helping the club secure its first Voyageurs Cup in the MLS era by winning the 2015 Canadian Championship. Adekugbe also spent time with Whitecaps FC Reserves in the MLS Reserve League and Whitecaps FC 2 in the USL Championship.
In his youth, Adekugbe played for the club’s U-18 and U-16 sides before making the jump to the first team.
Adekugbe arrives from Turkish side Hatayspor, where he started 53 of his 56 appearances and recorded two assists across all competitions after joining the club in 2021.
Most recently, Adekugbe spent the second half of the 2022/23 season on loan to Turkish giants Galatasaray. The Canadian international started all six of his appearances for the club and notched an assist en route to helping the side secure the Süper Lig Championship.
Prior to making his way to Turkey, Adekugbe played four seasons with Norwegian Eliteserien side Vålerenga Football. The defender made 87 starts and 95 appearances during his time in Oslo, while also tallying six assists.
During his first stint with Whitecaps FC, Adekugbe went away on two loan spells in Europe. The first came during the 2016/17 season with Brighton and Hove Albion, where he made five starts with the senior team across all competitions and an additional five starts with the U-21 side in Premier League 2. Adekugbe’s second loan spell came with Swedish side IFK Göteburg during the 2017 season, starting eight of his 10 appearances across all competitions.
Across his career, Adekugbe has amassed 210 appearances at the professional club level.
Internationally, Adekugbe scored one goal and added five assists in 41 appearances for Canada’s men’s national team at the senior level, with three of those appearances coming at the 2022 FIFA Men’s World Cup in Qatar. Adekugbe has also played in FIFA World Cup Qualifying, Concacaf Nations League, Gold Cup, and international friendly matches for Canada. At the youth level, Adekugbe played with Canada’s U-20 and U-18 sides.
TRANSACTION: On August 2, Whitecaps FC acquired Sam Adekugbe via transfer from Hatayspor and agree to a contract through 2026, with a club option for 2027.
Weight: 165 pounds
Date of Birth: January 16, 1995 in London, England
Hometown: Calgary, Alberta
Citizenship: Canada, England
Previous Clubs: Hatayspor (2021-23), Galatasaray (2023 – loan), Vålerenga (2018-21), IFK Göteborg (2017 – loan), Brighton & Hove Albion (2016-17 – loan), Whitecaps FC 2 (2015-16), Vancouver Whitecaps FC (2013-17)
Youth Clubs: Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency, Calgary Foothills SC