Vancouver Whitecaps FC add Homegrown defender Ethen Sampson to MLS roster

VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced today the addition of Whitecaps FC U-23 defender Ethen Sampson as the club’s ninth all-time Homegrown player signing. Per Major League Soccer and club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Ethen is a player we’ve gotten to know very well from his time with the club over the last year,” said Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson. “He has a number of qualities, such as his desire, versatility and physicality, that will be valuable to our squad.”

Whitecaps FC defender Ethen Sampson

  • Started each of his seven MLS Reserve League appearances in 2013
  • Appeared in five of Whitecaps FC’s six preseason matches
  • ASD Cape Town’s captain at the age of 15
  • Called up to South African U-20 national team camp in 2011

Sampson, 20, joins Vancouver’s MLS roster after spending a year with the club’s U-23 team, with whom he started six of his seven appearances in the United Soccer Leagues (USL) Premier Development League (PDL).

During that time, the 5-foot-10, 165-pound right back also trained with the first team on a regular basis and started each of his seven appearances in the MLS Reserve League. More recently, Sampson appeared in five of Whitecaps FC’s six MLS preseason matches.

Before joining Whitecaps FC on a trial in October 2012, Sampson enjoyed a successful four-year stint with South African club ASD Cape Town – an elite soccer school in the Western Cape. Sampson helped ASD Cape Town win the U-17 Engen Tournament in 2010 and finish as the runner-up at the National U-19 Metropolitan Cup in 2011.

The Mitchell's Plain, South Africa native was also recognized individually in both those competitions, as he was named the top defender at the U-17 Engen Tournament and the top player at the Metropolitan Cup the following year. Also of note, Sampson was unanimously voted as club captain at the age of 15 after just a month at the school. He was the second youngest player on the team.

Internationally, Sampson earned a call-up to a South African U-20 national team training camp in 2011.  

Sampson becomes Whitecaps FC’s ninth all-time Homegrown player signing, joining goalkeeper Marco Carducci, defender Sam Adekugbe, midfielders Bryce Alderson and Russell Teibert, as well as striker Caleb Clarke on the club’s current MLS roster.

Ethen Sampson
Position: Defender
Height: 5-10
Weight: 165 pounds
Date of Birth: December 28, 1993 in Mitchell's Plain, South Africa
Hometown: Mitchell's Plain, South Africa
Citizenship: South Africa
Status: International, Homegrown
Previous Club: ASD Cape Town
How Acquired: Signed to an MLS Homegrown contract on Thursday, March 6, 2014

Whitecaps FC begin their 2014 MLS season on March 8 versus New York Red Bulls at BC Place. Season tickets start at just $349 and single-match tickets start at $22, subject to applicable fees. The 'Caps also offer a flexible range of ticket products, including half-season tickets ($244), 5-packs ($149), student season tickets ($199), and a youth soccer half-season ticket ($100). For more information on all Whitecaps FC ticket options, call 604.669.9283 ext. 2 or visit


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