Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced today that striker Charles Gbeke has been named to the United Soccer Leagues First Division (USL-1) All-League First Team for the 2009 season.
The native of Longueuil, Quebec, took his place in the league's all-star first XI for the first time in his career after finishing the regular season as the top goalscorer in USL-1 with 12 goals. Currently in his seventh season in USL-1, Gbeke also finished tied for second among the league's point leaders with 25 points, having shared the honour with Puerto Rico Islanders defender Cristian Arrieta.
In his fifth season with Vancouver, the Canadian international enjoyed his best season with the Whitecaps after leading the club with 13 goals and 28 points in all competitions in 2009. Gbeke's efforts earned him the Domenic Mobilio Golden Boot award as the team’s top goalscorer, with the striker being one of only five Whitecaps players to have seen over 2,000 minutes of action during the regular season. He was named USL-1 Player of the Week in Week 20 and earned a spot in the league's Team of the Week on three occasions during the year. Last season, Gbeke was named the USL-1 Championship Final Most Valuable Player after scoring both goals in the Whitecaps 2-1 victory over Puerto Rico that secured the club's second league championship in three seasons.
The last time Gbeke made a USL-1 All-League Team was during the 2007 season with hometown club Montreal Impact. The striker claimed a spot in the All-League Second Team after sharing the USL-1 goalscoring title with Seattle Sounders forward Sebastien Le Toux after scoring 10 goals that season. Gbeke's efforts with Montreal also earned him the Impact's Offensive Player of the Year award.
Gbeke joins Whitecaps captain Martin Nash and fellow striker Marlon James in making the USL-1 All-League Teams for the 2009 season. On Tuesday, Nash and James were named in the All-League Second Team.
Click here to view the 2009 USL-1 All-League First Team