After making his Canadian men’s national team debut in September 2018 and being named the 2018 Canadian Youth International Player of the Year, Derek Cornelius joined Whitecaps FC via transfer from Serbian side FK Javor Ivanjica in January 2019.
'17-’19: Prior to arriving in Vancouver, Cornelius spent two years with FK Javor Ivanjica, making 29 starts in 31 total appearances while competing in the Serbian SuperLiga in 2017-18, and the First League in 2018-19.
‘14-’16: Cornelius began his professional career in Germany, scoring two goals in 18 total appearances for VfB Lübeck and VfR Neumünster in the Regionalliga.
Cornelius earned his first cap for the Canada men’s national team in September 2018. He made three senior appearances for Les Rouges in 2018, helping the national team to clean sheets in Concacaf Nations League qualifying in each outing. After making his debut in the national youth program at age 15, Cornelius was honoured as the 2018 Canadian Youth International Player of the Year in part for his leadership and performance with Canada U-21 at the prestigious Festival International Espoirs Provence in France. Cornelius helped lead Canada to an undefeated group stage, in which they conceded just one goal in three matches against Portugal, Turkey, and Japan, and wore the captain’s armband in their group stage finale.
Cornelius began his youth soccer with Ajax Thunder, then with North York Spartacus in his native province of Ontario. He moved overseas and played for Russian club PFC CSKA Moscow, then with German club VfB Lübeck. He would make his professional debut for Lübeck in 2014.
Cornelius is born to a Barbadian father and a Jamaican mother in Ajax, Ontario... He was teammates with Whitecaps FC players Doneil Henry, Russell Teibert, Marcel de Jong, and Maxime Crépeau on the Canadian men’s national team during 2019-20 Concacaf Nations League qualifying... He was also teammates with young WFC first-team players Michael Baldisimo, David Norman Jr., and Theo Bair on Canada U-21 at the 2018 Festival International Espoirs Provence in France.