VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced today they have acquired defender Taylor Graham and forward Roger Levesque (LA-VECK) on loan from the United Soccer Leagues First Division (USL-1) champion Seattle Sounders for one week. In addition, Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency forward Randy Edwini-Bonsu and defender Adam Straith have been promoted to the first team to complete the roster for the exhibition match between Vancouver Whitecaps and Los Angeles Galaxy at BC Place Stadium on Wednesday, November 7.
“The additions of Graham and Levesque brings veteran experience and additional depth on both the back and front ends,” said Todd Wawrousek, Vancouver Whitecaps interim head coach. “It is also exciting to include Edwini-Bonsu and Straith from our residency program. Both Edwini-Bonsu and Straith are in the development stages of their career and have shown well in their recent trip in Germany. This experience will help them further in their development.”
Graham, 27-years-old, joins the Whitecaps having played the second half of the 2007 season with USL-1 champion Sounders. The six-foot-four, 190-pound centre-back played in 12 regular season games after joining the club mid-season following a stint with the New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer (MLS). As a member of the 2007 Sounders, Graham recorded two goals in 983 minutes. He was also a key ingredient in Seattle’s championship run, having played every minute of the post-season while recording one assist. In 2005, his first stop in Seattle, the native of Fair Oaks, California led the league in minutes with 2,520 in 28 games. He tallied two goals and played every minute of every regular season and playoff match on his way to being named the USL Defender of the Year and his first championship with Seattle.
As a member of the Red Bulls, Graham appeared in 15 matches during the 2006 and 2007 seasons. Graham, who was originally selected 33rd overall in the 2003 MLS SuperDraft by the Kansas City Wizards, made his professional debut with the Missouri side that same year. The big defender went on to play 19 matches in two seasons with the Wizards before joining the Sounders at the start of the 2005 season. Graham played college soccer at Stanford University from 1998 to 2002 and was named to the All-Pac 10 team in his senior year.
Levesque, 26, comes to Vancouver having been a full-time member of the Sounders since 2005. During the 2007 regular season, the six-foot-two, 174-pound forward finished the season tied for third overall in league scoring with eight goals and five assists in 27 games. During the Sounders championship run, Levesque started all five matches and recorded two assists. In 2005, Levesque led the Sounders to their third USL-1 championship with four goals in five playoff matches. From 2003 to 2005, Levesque was on loan to the Sounders from the San Jose Earthquakes of MLS. In total, the native of Portland, Maine, has played in 114 regular season matches, scoring 26 goals and recording 16 assists for the Sounders.
In 2003, Levesque was selected 23rd overall in the 2003 MLS SuperDraft by San Jose. Levesque played college soccer at Stanford University from 1999 to 2002, where he was named second-team All-American as a junior and a third-team All-American as a senior.
Edwini-Bonsu and Straith will be returning from a successful two-week, six-match trip in Germany this Saturday. Both Edwini-Bonsu and Straith were standouts against some of the top clubs in the world, including Bayern Munich and VfB Stuttgart.
Edwini-Bonsu, 17, has earned 15 caps and scored two goals with Canada’s men’s U-17 national team. The five-foot-five, 137-pound midfielder/forward scored his first international goal against Bermuda at the Caribbean Cup on August 15, 2006. Edwini-Bonsu’s other marker came against Trinidad & Tobago on August 19, also at the Caribbean Cup. Edwini-Bonsu, who was born in Kumasi, Ghana, but has lived in Edmonton since 2002, trained with the U-18 and reserve teams for the French club FC Metz earlier this year.
Straith, 17, has earned 17 caps with Canada’s men’s U-17 national team. The six-foot-two, 190-pound defender, made his debut for the U-17 squad as a substitute in a tune-up match against Northern Ireland for the Ballymena International Tournament in April 2006 and has been a regular ever since. Straith, who was born in Vancouver but raised in Victoria, was the captain of his Bays United metro team of the Lower Island Soccer Association from 2002 to 2007.
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC ROSTER
# Name Pos. Birthplace/Hometown DOB HT WT
1 Matt Nelson GK Tampa, FL 11.12.77 6-1 190
2 Jeff Clarke D New Westminster, BC / Coquitlam, BC 10.18.77 5-9 165
4 Adrian Cann D Thornhill, ON 09.19.80 6-3 184
6 Jay Alberts M Sunset Hills, MO / St. Louis, MO 11.08.80 5-8 150
7 Martin Nash M Regina, SK / Victoria, BC 12.27.75 5-11 170
8 Steve Kindel D Burnaby, BC 02.25.77 5-9 155
9 Alfredo Valente M Vancouver, BC 11.06.80 5-6 155
11 Randy Edwini-Bonsu F Kumasi, Ghana / Edmonton, AB 04.20.90 5-6 137
12 Eduardo Sebrango F Sancti Spiritus, Cuba / Ottawa, ON 04.13.73 6-1 175
13 Geordie Lyall D Toronto, ON / Victoria, BC 09.15.76 6-1 180
14 Tony Donatelli M Glenside, PA 06.07.84 6-1 175
15 Omar Jarun D Peachtree City, GA 12.10.83 6-5 205
16 Taylor Graham D Fair Oaks, CA 06.03.80 6-4 190
17 Adam Straith D Vancouver, BC / Victoria, BC 09.11.90 6-2 190
18 Josh Hansen F Phoenix, AZ 06.13.82 5-10 175
19 Joey Worthen M Salt Lake City, UT 03.12.79 6-1 185
20 Dave Morris M Burnaby, BC 02.08.78 6-2 170
22 Roger Levesque F Portland, ME 01.22.81 6-2 174
23 Darren Spicer F Diamond Bar, CA 08.27.83 5-11 165
24 Lyle Martin D Bakersfield, CA 03.25.85 6-1 170
26 Jason Jordan F Vancouver, BC / Richmond, BC 05.30.78 5-10 175
27 Stefan Leslie M Richmond, BC / Surrey, BC 10.23.87 5-11 160
28 Diaz Kambere D Kasese, Uganda 10.18.85 5-9 165
29 Lutz Pfannenstiel GK Zwiesel, Germany 01.30.73 6-1 181
The Whitecaps also announce today that they have released midfielder Zé Roberto. Zé Roberto was acquired in a mid-season trade with Montreal Impact and played eight regular season and playoff matches for 659 minutes.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC host David Beckham and the Los Angeles Galaxy at BC Place Stadium on Wednesday, November 7, 2007, at 7:00 p.m. Individual tickets start at just $25 and are available at all Ticketmaster locations, by phone at 604.280.4400 or online at ticketmaster.ca. For information visit our Galaxy Page or call the Whitecaps office at 604.669.WAVE (9283).