VANCOUVER, BC – It’s time for Marco Carducci to leave the nest.
After five years with Vancouver Whitecaps FC, the Canadian goalkeeper will not return to the club in 2017 after what both he and Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson described as a “mutual decision” to have his contract option declined.
“From a selfish point of view, the easiest thing to do would have been to pick his option up,” Robinson told whitecapsfc.com. “He’s a fantastic young professional. He’s someone that all young players should take a look at, because he’s not once been into my office to complain or worry about anything. He just got on with his business. His temperament is second to none.”
Both parties explored a loan move, but agreed this would open up more opportunities.
“For his own development, it’s probably the right decision at this point in time to let him go and explore to try and get some games somewhere,” Robinson added. “I wasn’t able to guarantee him any games and I think he’s in between that catchment area of USL and first team. He agreed.”
Goodbyes are never easy.
Carducci, after all, joined the Whitecaps FC Residency program when he was 14 years old. It’s the only professional club he’s ever known. But he also knows it’s time for a change.
“It’s tough; I’ve obviously been at the club for a while so there’s a really deep connection there,” Carducci told whitecapsfc.com. “But this is the next step for me, to get out of my comfort zone, to get games, to get that meaningful experience. It’s what needed to happen.”
Carducci, now 20, spent two-and-a-half years with the club’s Residency program before signing an MLS contract ahead of the 2014 season. That year, the Calgary native started both legs of the Amway Canadian Championship semifinal vs. Toronto FC before spending two consecutive seasons with Whitecaps FC 2 (WFC2) in the United Soccer League, making 16 starts.
“The club and the city hold a very, very special place in my heart,” said Carducci, a two-time Canadian U-17 Player of the Year. “All the relationships I built through the club, from the Residency all the way through the first team, all the staff, it was just a really great experience. The five years I spent there helped build the person I am today, both on and off the field. I’ll always be grateful for that.”
As for what comes next, Carducci said he’s still exploring his options. He’s excited for a new challenge, but he also isn’t closing the door on a potential return to Whitecaps FC down the road.
And neither is Robinson.
“We’ll continue to monitor him,” Robinson said. “If he can go and get 20 games under his belt next year and 20 games the year after, the door is always open to bring him back here because I know that he does want to play for Vancouver. Hopefully one day he can be the starting goalkeeper.”