Left back Ali Adnan joined Whitecaps FC on loan from Serie A side Udinese Calcio in March 2019. The 25-year old defender is the first-ever Iraqi-born player in Major League Soccer and will return to his parent club at the end of June.
Born in Baghdad, Adnan most recently featured at the 2019 AFC Asian Cup for his national team in January, where he scored a last-minute free kick game-winner versus Vietnam in the group stage and was named to the tournament’s Best XI by Fox Sports Asia. He has four goals in 49 appearances for the Lions of Mesopotamia. At the youth level, he was named the AFC Asian Young Football of the Year in 2013 after a stellar performance in that year’s FIFA U-20 World Cup.
The 6-foot-1 Adnan arrives having spent over three seasons in the Italian Serie A with Udinese, including a loan stint with Atalanta BC, collecting 49 starts in 68 league appearances, and adding one goal.
Adnan began his career with his hometown youth club Baghdad FC, playing two seasons with the first team in the Iraqi Premier League. In 2013, Adnan moved to Çaykur Rizespor, where he would score three goals in 41 league appearances in two Turkish Süper Lig seasons, prior to his move to Italy.