VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced on Monday the 23-man roster for the 2017 Canadian Championship semifinal first leg on Tuesday night against Montreal Impact at BC Place (7 p.m. PT on TSN, TSN Radio 1040).
The club also confirmed that Whitecaps FC 2 (WFC2) goalkeeper Sean Melvin, centre back Sem de Wit, left back Deklan Wynne, midfielders Matthew Baldisimo and David Norman Jr., and striker Gloire Amanda were all signed to short-term agreements and are included in the Canadian Championship 23-man roster. In addition to the six call-ups, goalkeeper Spencer Richey, midfielder Alphonso Davies, and striker Kyle Greig all previously came through last year's USL roster before being signed to MLS contracts.
This year, a minimum of three Canadians must start for each team during every match of the Canadian Championship tournament. The 'Caps 23-man roster includes eight Canadians, seven of whom came up through the Whitecaps FC Residency program. Davies is a permanent resident and is working on obtaining his Canadian citizenship.
Melvin, 22, has made three starts in the 2017 USL season, earning a 2W-1L-0D record with 14 saves. The Victoria, BC native was named to the USL Team of the Week earlier this year after posting a five-save clean sheet against Timbers 2. The product of the Whitecaps FC Residency program and the University of North Carolina-Wilmington also recently made his international senior team debut with Canada in a 4-2 friendly win against Bermuda in January.
After joining the team at the start of last season, de Wit, 22, has served as a captain for WFC2 this season. The native of Handerwijk, Netherlands has made eight USL starts so far in 2017, including two as a holding midfielder. The Dutch centre back leads the team with 32 interceptions and 51 duels won, and is second on the team with 21 tackles. Last season, de Wit was named 2016 WFC2 Player of the Year.
Wynne, 22, has one goal in his seven starts and appearances for WFC2. The left back from Auckland, New Zealand has seven senior international appearances for his country, most recently against Fiji in World Cup Qualifying action last March.
Baldisimo, 19, has six starts in nine appearances for WFC2 this season. The 2015 BMO RESP Youth Soccer Player of the Year award-winner from Burnaby, BC wore the captain's armband for the Canadian U-17 national team at the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship. Matthew is one of three Baldisimo brothers to have come through the Whitecaps FC Residency program.
Norman Jr., 18, has started each of his six appearances in his first season with WFC2. A member of the club since the age of nine, the midfielder from Coquitlam, BC won the 2013 BMO RESP Youth Player of the Year award and spent one season of NCAA soccer at Oregon State University. Internationally, he has represented Canada at the U-17 and U-15 levels.
Amanda, 18, was recently named to the USL Team of the Week thanks to his back-to-back goals coming against Tulsa Roughnecks FC and Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC last week. In addition to his two goals, the former Canada U-18 national team player and first-year professional from Edmonton, Alberta has recorded one assist in four starts and nine appearances.
MLS clubs may sign players from their USL affiliate to short-term agreements (up to four-day contracts) for CONCACAF Champions League, Canadian Championship, Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, and exhibition matches. An MLS club may sign a player to a maximum of four short-term agreements each season (maximum of 16 days).
TRANSACTION: Whitecaps FC sign Sean Melvin, Sem de Wit, Deklan Wynne, Matthew Baldisimo, David Norman Jr., and Gloire Amanda to short-term agreements on Monday, May 22, 2017.
Canadian Championship semifinal first leg
Defenders (6): Marcel de Jong, Sem de Wit*, Jake Nerwinski, Tim Parker, Cole Seiler, Deklan Wynne*
Midfielders (11): Matthew Baldisimo*, Marco Bustos, Alphonso Davies, Matías Laba, Ben McKendry, Nicolás Mezquida, David Norman Jr.*, Mauro Rosales, Tony Tchani, Cristian Techera, Russell Teibert
Forwards (4): Gloire Amanda*, Kyle Greig, Fredy Montero, Brek Shea
Defenders (7): Ambroise Oyongo, Hassoun Camara, Laurent Ciman, Chris Duvall, Kyle Fisher, Wandrille Lefèvre, Daniel Lovitz
Midfielders (10): Adrián Arregui, Hernán Bernardello, Patrice Bernier, David Choinière, Blerim Dzemaili, Calum Mallace, Ignacio Piatti, Michael Salazar, Shamit Shome, Ballou Tabla
Forwards (3): Nick DePuy, Anthony Jackson-Hamel, Dominic Oduro