Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced today the signing of midfielder Jonathan 'Jonny' Steele from United Soccer Leagues First Division (USL-1) club Puerto Rico Islanders. The club also announced today the signing of defender Greg Janicki from Major League Soccer (MLS) side D.C. United. Both players have agreed to one-year contracts - plus an option - with the North American Soccer League outfit.
Steele, 23, comes to Vancouver with six years of experience as a USL-1 player. A native of Larne, Northern Ireland, Steele's most productive seasons in the league were with Puerto Rico. The midfielder won the 2008 USL-1 Most Valuable Player award and was the league's assist leader during his first season with the Islanders, as the Caribbean club claimed the Commissioner's Cup title as USL-1 regular season champions. In 2009, the midfielder made the USL-1 All-League Second Team after helping Puerto Rico to a third-place finish in the regular season standings. Steele also appeared in the first two editions of the CONCACAF Champions League, with the midfielder helping the Islanders to the semifinals of the 2008-09 competition. In his two seasons with Puerto Rico, Steele made 56 USL-1 regular season and playoff appearances for 4,786 minutes of action, scoring seven goals and adding 18 assists in that time.
Prior to his spell with Puerto Rico, Steele appeared in USL-1 with Syracuse Salty Dogs (2004) and Rochester Rhinos (2005 & 2006) before spending the 2007 season with USL-1 expansion club Carolina RailHawks. He also played in the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) with Kansas City Comets, Baltimore Blast, and Philadelphia KiXX, having won the 2005-06 MISL title with Baltimore. Steele also represented Northern Ireland at youth international level, having appeared in all three group matches during his country's hosting of the 2005 UEFA European Under-19 Championship.
Janicki, 25, joins the Whitecaps following a spell with D.C. United, having initially joined the MLS club on a developmental contract in September 2008. Born in Rochester, Michigan, and raised in New Baltimore, Michigan, the defender made 10 MLS appearances for 638 minutes of action before his release from the Washington, D.C., outfit last month. Janicki's only goal for the club came in the group stage of the 2008-09 CONCACAF Champions League, as United lost 4-2 at home to Honduras' Club Deportivo Marathon on October 29, 2008.
Before his spell in MLS, Janicki started his professional career in 2008 with USL Second Division club Pittsburgh Riverhounds. With the Pennsylvania-based outfit, the defender recorded one assist in 14 appearances. He also played two seasons in the USL Premier Development League with Michigan Bucks (2006) and West Michigan Edge (2007). A college standout at Michigan State University, Janicki was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/adidas All-Great Lakes Region Second Team and the All-Big Ten First Team during his senior year with the Spartans.
Whitecaps 2010 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 Vancouver MLS 2011 in BC Place. For more information on the 2010 season ticket packages, call 604.669.WAVE (9283) or click here.