VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced on Friday that the club has signed forward Levonte Johnson from the club’s MLS NEXT Pro side Whitecaps FC 2 (WFC2) to an MLS first team contract through 2023, with club options for 2024 and 2025.
“In February, we discussed with Levonte our plan for him and we offered an individual development program to help make him ready for MLS. Levonte has totally bought into it, has shown consistent growth, and is now ready to make the next step in his career,” said Axel Schuster, Whitecaps FC sporting director. “He has been one of the most exciting players in MLS NEXT Pro this season and has put in valuable performances when playing with the first team, including helping us win the Canadian Championship for the second consecutive season. Levonte’s profile provides us with another option in attack, while giving us the opportunity to continue to help him develop. We’re happy to officially welcome Levonte to the first team.”
Whitecaps FC forward Levonte Johnson
- Becomes third WFC2 MLS NEXT Pro player to sign with the club’s first team
- Signed four MLS short-term agreements this season, started Canadian Championship Final
- Scored on his first team debut in the Canadian Championship match against York United FC on May 10
- Leads Whitecaps FC 2 in goals this season with six
- Top three in MLS NEXT Pro in expected goals & expected goals/shot
"I'm very grateful to the club for the confidence they have shown in me since I first arrived back in January," said Johnson. "I'm going to use whatever chance I have, whatever minutes I get, to show my best and help us win."
Johnson, 24, was selected 29th overall by Whitecaps FC in the 2023 MLS SuperDraft from Syracuse University and spent the entire preseason with the ’Caps first team, making four appearances.
In February, the native of Brampton, Ontario signed with WFC2 and has gone on to start 11 of his 12 appearances for the side, leading the team in goals with six while also registering an assist.
Johnson has also signed four MLS short-term agreements with the first team this season.
His first call-up came in March for the club's road match against Real C.D. España in Concacaf Champions League action, while his second came in May for the club’s Canadian Championship quarterfinal match at York United FC. The forward made his first team debut as a second half substitute and scored in the 88th minute - the club’s second MLS NEXT Pro product to score on his first team debut following Simon Becher in 2022.
Johnson’s third call-up saw him make his MLS debut off the bench in the club’s away match at St. Louis CITY SC on May 27. In his fourth call-up, Johnson started the Canadian Championship Final and played 73 minutes en route to helping the ’Caps win their second consecutive Voyageurs Cup.
During his time at Syracuse, Johnson scored 11 goals and added six assists across 25 starts for Syracuse during the 2022 season, helping the side win the NCAA Division I National Championship. Johnson was one of three MAC Hermann Trophy finalists and was named to the United Soccer Coaches First Team All-America, All-ACC First Team, and All-South Region First Team.
Prior to joining Syracuse, Johnson recorded nine goals, eight assists in 20 starts and 22 appearances with Seattle University in 2021. Johnson previously spent time with Salt Lake Community College in his sophomore year, starting 16 of his 18 appearances and recording 11 goals as well as 10 assists. In his freshman year, the forward added 10 goals and four assists for Eastern Florida State College.
In addition, Johnson also played for Portland Timbers U-23 in USL League Two in 2021, tallying a goal in seven appearances.
In his youth, Johnson spent time with B.S.T. Soccer Academy and Masters Fútbol Academy in Toronto, Ontario.
TRANSACTION: On June 30, 2023, Whitecaps FC sign forward Levonte Johnson to an MLS contract through 2023, with club options for 2024 and 2025.
Weight: 175 pounds
Date of Birth: March 15, 1999, in Brampton, Ontario
Hometown: Brampton, Ontario
University: Syracuse University, Seattle University, Salt Lake Community College, Eastern Florida College
High School: David Suzuki Secondary School
Previous Teams: Whitecaps FC 2 (2023), Portland Timbers U-23 (2021)
Youth Clubs: B.S.T. Soccer Academy, Masters Fútbol Academy