Vancouver Whitecaps FC, in conjunction with the Canadian Soccer Association, announce that goalkeeper Julien Latendresse-Lévesque, defender/midfielder Adam Straith, and midfielders Philippe Davies and Ethan Gage have all received call-ups to Canada's U-20 men's national team.
The quartet, all of whom are members of the Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency program, will join a 20-player squad in Florida for the team's second training camp of 2008, which runs from December 14 to 22. The camp will include international friendly matches against Haiti on December 18 and against the United States on December 22. Former Whitecaps men's team head coach Tony Fonseca will use the camp as preparation towards next year's CONCACAF U-20 Championship in Trinidad & Tobago. Davies and Gage will leave the Residency team's current 12-day tour of Japan early, in order to meet up with the Canadian U-20 team on Sunday, while Latendresse-Lévesque will join the squad following the tour of Japan next Tuesday.
Straith, 18-years-old, returns to the U-20 national team after being part of Fonseca's squad for their two-match training camp in Switzerland in late November. The six-foot-two, 190-pound centre back scored his first U-20 international goal for Canada in a 1-1 friendly draw with Switzerland U-20's on November 26. Straith, who was born in Vancouver, BC, but raised in Victoria, BC, played 12 matches for 1,080 minutes with the Whitecaps United Soccer Leagues (USL) Premier Development League (PDL) team before moving on loan to Germany’s FC Energie Cottbus U-19 Junior Bundesliga side for the 2008-09 season. After not being eligible in Cottbus’ first three matches, Straith has started the next nine games, scoring two goals.
Gage, 17, earns his first call-up to the U-20 squad after helping the Whitecaps men's team to their second USL First Division championship title in three seasons back in October. Born in Cowansville, Quebec, but raised in Cochrane, Alberta, Gage impressed with his midfield displays in the semifinal, second leg, home win over Montreal Impact on October 5, and in the Championship Final victory over Puerto Rico Islanders at Swangard Stadium on October 12. The five-foot-eleven, 180-pound midfielder also played a key role in helping the Residency team reach the PDL semifinals in their first season in the league, having started every match in the regular season and playoffs during the summer. Prior to his current call-up, Gage was a member of Canada's U-15 national team in 2006, while in 2007, the midfielder took part in training camps with Canada's U-16 national team.
Davies, who turns 18 on Friday, has been a member of the Residency program since its inception in September 2007. Like Gage, the native of Longueuil, Quebec, was also instrumental in helping the Whitecaps PDL team reach the semifinals. The six-foot, 160-pound midfielder heads to next week's U-20 camp after scoring four goals in 13 appearances with Canada's U-17 national team between April 2006 and May 2007. The midfielder was also a predominant member of Canada's U-15 national team in 2005.
Latendresse-Lévesque, 17, was one of two goalkeepers to be selected for the Florida camp by Fonseca. The native of Chambly, Quebec, joined the Residency program for the beginning of its second year of existence this past September. The six-foot-two, 190-pound shot-stopper earned five caps with Canada's U-17 national team between August 2006 and April 2007. This included two shutouts in Group B of the 2007 CONCACAF U-17 Championship in Kingston, Jamaica. Before moving to Vancouver, Latendresse-Lévesque joined Montreal Impact on their preseason tour of Portugal, where he made his debut in a friendly mini-match on February 19.
Whitecaps 2009 season tickets are now on sale. Season tickets include all men’s and women's team regular season and playoff home matches at Swangard Stadium, Nutrilite Canadian Championship home matches against Toronto FC and Montreal Impact, as well as priority listing for BC Place and the proposed Whitecaps Waterfront Stadium. For more information on the 2009 season ticket packages, call 604.669.WAVE (9283) or visit whitecapsfc.com.