VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced today that six players, all 21 and under, are headed to the United Kingdom for weeklong training stints, which will run through to November 26.
Left back Sam Adekugbe, centre back Christian Dean, and midfielder Kianz Froese will train with Scottish Championship club Rangers FC. The Glasgow based side is currently second in the league table and features former Whitecaps FC striker Kenny Miller.
Midfielder Marco Bustos, goalkeeper Marco Carducci, and Whitecaps FC U-18 Residency defender/midfielder Jordan Haynes will train with English Championship club Derby County FC. The Rams are currently top of the table and are also co-owned by Jeff Mallett, the co-owner of Whitecaps FC.
The six players will not be eligible to play in any official matches.
“This is a great opportunity for some of our young players to receive additional experience as we move towards 2015,” said Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson. “I’ve seen how much these young men have developed this past season, and these training spells will only help further their growth both on and off the pitch.”
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The five Canadians joined their respective training clubs immediately after a successful three-match overseas trip with the U-20 national side, which saw them draw England 2-2 on November 12 and defeat Russia 2-1 on November 15 before concluding the camp with a 1-0 victory over United States on November 18.
Adekugbe, 19, has made five appearances in MLS regular season play since signing with the first team in August 2013. The club’s first-ever Homegrown defender, Adekugbe previously featured at the Residency level, starting 55 of his 60 appearances in United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) play. Internationally, the product of Calgary, Alberta has participated in training camps for Canada at the U-18, U-20, and senior levels.
Dean, 21, made six first team appearances in his rookie season, including a pair of starts at the 2014 Amway Canadian Championship. The East Palo Alto, California resident, who Whitecaps FC selected at third overall in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft, has been a regular for the United States men’s U-23 side this year, having been called up on three separate occasions.
Froese, 18, signed with the first team in September and made his MLS debut as a substitute in a 1-0 win over Seattle Sounders FC. Prior to that, Froese also started for Whitecaps FC in the first leg of the 2014 Amway Canadian Championship. At the youth level, Froese has starred for the Whitecaps FC U-18 Residency since joining the club in 2012. The attacking midfielder has scored 18 goals in 51 appearances for Whitecaps FC U-18 in the USSDA. The product of Brunkild, Manitoba has represented Canada at the U-17, U-20, and senior national team levels.
Bustos, 18, pre-signed with the MLS side in September and is set to join the first team roster in the new year. Earlier this season, Bustos made his first team debut at Toronto during the ACC. At the youth level, the attacking midfielder has scored 46 goals in 66 USSDA U-18 matches. The native of Winnipeg, Manitoba has represented Canada at the U-17 and U-20 levels, most recently scoring the game-winning goal in Canada’s 2-1 win over Russia’s U-21 team.
Carducci, 18, also made his professional debut in the 2014 ACC, as he started and finished both legs of the home-and-home semifinal series with Toronto FC. Carducci has also impressed with the Whitecaps FC U-18 Residency side over the past two seasons, as he has picked up seven clean sheets in just 20 appearances between the 2013-14 and 2014-15 USSDA campaigns. A two-time Canadian U-17 Player of the Year, the Calgary, Alberta native has starred for Canada’s U-17, U-18, and U-20 squads, including backstopping the U-20 side to a second place finish at the 2014 Dale Farm Milk Cup.
Haynes, 18, a versatile player who can play in both the fullback and midfield positions, has been a mainstay in the ‘Caps Residency program since joining in 2011. For the U-18 side, Haynes has started a combined 33 of his 35 appearances over the past two years, scoring five goals over that span. The native of Peterborough, Ontario, has also played for Canada at the U-17 and U-20 levels, including the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup alongside Bustos, Carducci, and Froese.
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