Vanni coaching

VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC confirmed staffing updates for the MLS Academy on Thursday, as well as an overall update on the Whitecaps FC BMO Academy System. 

Vanni Sartini, who joined the club in December of 2018 as a first team assistant coach, has been working full-time in his new role as director of methodology since the MLS offseason began. The club also confirmed the launch of Whitecaps FC U-23, replacing the Development Squad and aligning with the MLS pathway, with Sartini acting as head coach. Once competition resumes, more information on the U-23 team will be made available. 

Working under Sartini, Rich Fagan has taken the role of high potential player head coach, focusing specifically on individual player development across all age groups on the path towards the first team, supporting every head coach from U-15 to U-23. Fagan will also be responsible for liaising with head coaches and contacts throughout the nationwide Whitecaps FC BMO Academy System to identify and evaluate players.

In addition to taking on the role of U-17 head coach, Ricky King is also serving as technical coordinator. King is working closely with Sartini and BMO Academy Centres director and head coach Marinos Papageorgopoulos on methodology for academy programs across Canada, concentrating on coach education and a uniform process.

All programs in the Whitecaps FC BMO Academy System will use a streamlined data network, including a library of training exercises and tactical principles, as well as logging training, evaluating players, and sharing depth charts for every coach across the country. The platform was developed by Dr. Johann Windt, Whitecaps FC head of data science & performance. 

Other technical changes in the MLS Academy include Nick Dasovic becoming U-19 head coach, Dan Fairhurst as U-16 head coach, Michael D’Agostino as U-23 assistant coach, and Mark Eckerle as U-17 assistant coach. As previously announced, current first team player Andy Rose joins the staff as U-19 assistant coach.


Vanni Sartini 

Director of Methodology | U-23 Head Coach 

Rich Fagan 

High Potential Player Head Coach 

Nick Dasovic 

U-19 Head Coach 

Ricky King 

U-17 Head Coach | Technical Coordinator 

Dan Fairhurst 

U-16 Head Coach 

Scott Howey 

U-15 Head Coach 

Michael D’Agostino 

U-23 Assistant Coach 

Andy Rose 

U-19 Assistant Coach 

Mark Eckerle 

U-17 Assistant Coach 

Dante Marconato 

U-15 Assistant Coach 

Raegyn Hall 

Academy Head Goalkeeper Coach 

Andrew Foster 

Academy & Assistant First Team Video Analyst 


Dave Irvine 

Director, Academy Operations 

Max Corcoran 

Academy Administrator & Billet Program Manager 

Brad Smith 

Academy Equipment Manager 

Alex Menzies 

Assistant Academy Equipment Manager 

Elizabeth Watanabe 

Academy Education Manager 

Ryan Clark 

Collegiate Transition Manager 

Sports Science

Charles To 

Academy Physiotherapist 

Andrew Bell 

Academy Athletic Trainer 

Joe Vecchione 

Performance Coach 

Matt Baranowicz 

Academy Athletic Therapist 

Alex Hodgins  

Metal Performance Coach 

For more information on the Whitecaps FC BMO Academy System, visit