VANCOUVER, BC - Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced on Friday that left back Sam Adekugbe will join English Championship club Brighton & Hove Albion FC on loan through June 2017 - pending receipt of his international transfer certificate.
"We continue to look for ways for our young players to develop and this will be a great opportunity for Sam," said Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson. "We'll be tracking his progress closely while on loan as he remains an important member of our club."
Brighton finished third in the Championship last season, narrowly missing out on automatic promotion to the English Premier League by virtue of goal difference before falling in the playoff semifinals. The South East England-based side kick off their 2016-17 campaign on August 6 against Derby County. Adekugbe will begin the season with Brighton's U-21 side.
“We know all about Sam and his qualities from his time with us last December,” said Brighton manager Chris Hughton. “He initially began with our under-21 group, but quickly showed he was capable of stepping up to train with our first team. He will join the under-21 squad and his challenge, along with others, is to make that step up into the first-team squad.”
Adekugbe, 21, joined the Whitecaps FC Residency program in September 2011 and was signed to Vancouver's MLS roster as a Homegrown player in August 2013.
This season, the 5-foot-11 product of Calgary, Alberta has made four first-team appearances, including two Amway Canadian Championship matches. In addition, Adekugbe has started four USL matches for Whitecaps FC 2, tallying one assist.
Born in London, England, Adekugbe has enjoyed three offseason training stints in Great Britain, most recently with Brighton in December 2015. The previous offseason, he spent some time with English Premier League club Liverpool FC and with Scottish Championship side Rangers FC.
In total, Adekugbe has started 18 of 25 first team appearances across all competitions and has earned three Canadian senior international caps.
Position: Left back
Weight: 165 pounds
Date of Birth: January 16, 1995 in London, England
Hometown: Calgary, Alberta
Citizenship: United Kingdom/Canada
Status: Domestic, Homegrown
Transaction: Loan through June 2017 to Brighton & Hove Albion FC on July 15, 2016
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