WFC2 vs. SFU
Photo Credit: Mynor Campos

Introducing WFC2

VANCOUVER, BC – Here it is everyone, your inaugural Whitecaps FC 2 (WFC2) roster.

With WFC2 set to open their USL campaign today at 4 p.m. PT (watch live on whitecapsfc2.com), we take an in-depth look at the players who will be suiting up for the Blue and White this season.

Note: This does not include players currently on the MLS roster, who will also be loaned to and from WFC2 throughout the season. Five players were loaned to WFC2 ahead of Sunday's season opener. 

ROSTER BREAKDOWN

Goalkeepers

Defenders

Midfielders

Strikers

2

4

7

2

HOW THE TEAM WAS BUILT

Whitecaps FC Residency grads

MLS SuperDraft selections

Other

5

4

6

CANADIANS: 10

Jovan Blagojevic, Jackson Farmer, Jordan Haynes, Brett Levis, Mitch Piraux, MacKenzie Pridham, Tyler Rosenlund, Sahil Sandhu, Chris Serban, Mark Village

GOALKEEPERS (2): SPENCER RICHEY, MARK VILLAGE

There are two goalkeepers on WFC2’s roster: Whitecaps FC SuperDraft selection Spencer Richey and Abbotsford native Mark Village.

Richey, a native of Seattle, spent the last five years playing at the University of Washington. This past season, the 6-foot-1, 195-pound goalkeeper allowed just 22 goals in 17 appearances, leading the University of Washington to the NCAA Sweet 16 for the second straight season. Interestingly, Richey has now been a part of all three Cascadia clubs after playing in the PDL with both Sounders FC U-23 and Portland Timbers U-23.

Village, meanwhile, joins WFC2 after five seasons at the University of Fraser Valley under head coach Alan Errington. In 2012, Village was named to the Canada West Second Team All-Conference and in 2013 he led the Cascades to their best ever season.

Though they’re not officially on the USL roster, expect first-team goalkeepers Marco Carducci and Paolo Tornaghi to see a lot of time between the posts as well. Carducci, a Whitecaps FC Residency graduate who hails from Calgary, Alberta, is the youngest player on Vancouver’s MLS roster. He turns 19 in September.

DEFENDERS (4): JACKSON FARMER, JORDAN HAYNES, CRAIG NITTI, CHRIS SERBAN

Three of WFC2’s four defenders are Canadians who came through the club’s Residency program.

That would be centre back Jackson Farmer and fullbacks Jordan Haynes and Chris Serban. The other is 6’5”, 220-pound centre back Craig Nitti, who Whitecaps FC selected in the recent MLS SuperDraft.

Nitti, who scored for WFC2 in a preseason friendly against SFU, is an out-and-out centre back, but the other three defenders are quite versatile. Farmer can also play right back, as he did for the first team in the preseason, Haynes can also play in midfield, and Serban can play right or left back.

Their versatility should come in handy, as there will likely be defenders coming down from the MLS roster throughout the season. Depending on their involvement with the first team, MLS players who could see time with WFC2 this season include American centre backs Christian Dean and Tim Parker, as well as fullbacks Sam Adekugbe and Ethen Sampson.

MIDFIELDERS (7): JOVAN BLAGOJEVIC (W), VICTOR BLASCO (W), BRETT LEVIS (W), MITCH PIRAUX (CM), TYLER ROSENLUND (CM), SAHIL SANDHU (W), IAN CHRISTIANSON (CM)

This is by far the deepest position on the team, giving Koch a number of options to work with.

Expect captain Tyler Rosenlund to have a big part to play – on and off the pitch. The 28-year-old Port Coquitlam native is a USL veteran, having spent the last five seasons with Rochester Rhinos.

Rosenlund and Whitecaps FC Residency graduate Mitch Piraux should provide stability in the middle of the park, while the likes of Jovan Blagojevic, Victor Blasco, Brett Levis, and Sahil Sandhu will be relied upon to help contribute offensively further up the pitch. Recently added to the mix is Ian Christianson, who spent the past two years in MLS with New York Red Bulls. The Iowa native also brings USL experience after playing three matches on loan at Orlando City last year.

Interestingly, Koch is familiar with a few of these players from his time at SFU.

He coached Blagojevic, a Coquitlam resident who became the first player drafted into MLS from a Canadian school when the ‘Caps selected him this past offseason. The 23-year-old winger scored 38 goals in 71 appearances with SFU, including 18 goals in 18 matches last season. He also scored the game-winning goal in WFC2’s preseason finale against Sounders FC 2.

Another player Koch has previous knowledge of is Blasco, one of the few international players on the team. Blasco, who spent much of his youth playing in the academy of FC Barcelona, was recruited by Koch to join SFU, but ended up spending a year at VIU where he led the school to the CCAA national championship final.

There are also a few players on the MLS roster to watch here, including recently-signed Honduran midfielder Deybi Flores and Whitecaps FC Residency graduates Marco Bustos, Kianz Froese, and Ben McKendry. McKendry, a native of Vancouver, picked up two assists in WFC2’s preseason finale last weekend against Oregon State University.

When in the lineup, expect each of them to have big roles on the team.

STRIKERS (2): MACKENZIE PRIDHAM, BILLY SCHULER

Two players who will likely see a lot of time up front this year are Mackenzie Pridham and Billy Schuler

Pridham, a native of Toronto, Ontario, was selected by Whitecaps FC in last year’s MLS SuperDraft after playing collegiately at California Polytechnic State University, where he’s the program’s all-time leading goalscorer. Pridham scored four goals in WFC2’s 5-1 preseason win over SFU.

And Schuler joins WFC2 after most recently spending a year with San Jose Earthquakes – he appeared in four matches last season. The 24-year-old American is a former University of North Carolina standout who played professionally in Sweden before returning to North America and being assigned to San Jose in a weighted lottery. Schuler represented the United States internationally at the U-17 and U-20 levels.

Don't be surprised to see Whitecaps FC Residency graduate and currently MLS striker Caleb Clarke either. Last year, the Richmond native scored eight goals in 26 matches while on loan with German Bundesliga club FC Augsburg II before suffering a ruptured quadriceps muscle.

Come and see the next generation of Whitecaps FC stars as USL arrives in Vancouver. With Season Tickets available for as low as $118, WFC2 matches will be a unique and affordable experience for fans, families, students, and supporters. Flex packs are also available to fit your schedule - get seven tickets to use any way you want, to any matches you want. For more information on all WFC2 ticket options, call 604-484-7862 or e-mail wfc2@whitecapsfc.com.