VANCOUVER, BC - Vancouver Whitecaps FC reinforced their backline on Friday, acquiring Canadian international and former West Ham United FC centre back Doneil Henry via the Major League Soccer Allocation Process.
The club's sixth new acquisition since the end of last season's MLS Cup Playoffs run, Henry agreed to a contract through 2018, with club options until 2020, and will officially join the roster pending receipt of his international transfer certificate.
"Doneil is an athletic centre back who's strong in the air. He likes to defend, and will be a good complementary piece to our core of defenders," said head coach Carl Robinson, who was co-captain for Toronto FC when Henry was wearing the armband in the TFC Academy. "His experience in Europe will serve him well. Doneil has a point to prove and we look forward to bringing him in."
Whitecaps FC centre back Doneil Henry
- Three years with English Premier League' West Ham United FC, with loan spells at then-Championship side Blackburn Rovers and Danish Superliga club AC Horsens
- Five goals in 93 appearances with Toronto FC in all competitions prior to move to Europe
- 2012 Canadian U-20 Player of the Year
- 20 starts in 22 caps for the Canadian senior men's national team
Henry, 24, arrives in Vancouver after three years with West Ham. He spent the majority of his time with the English Premier League club on loan spells, making four appearances with then-Championship side Blackburn Rovers FC from 2015 to 2016, and most recently four appearances with Danish Superliga club AC Horsens in 2016. The Canadian started his lone first-team match for West Ham in the 2015-16 UEFA Europa League, and also featured for the Hammers' U-21 team.
Having overcome recent injury adversity, Henry returns to Canada where he started his professional career with Toronto FC, when he became the club's first Academy product to sign an MLS contract in 2010. The 6-foot-2 defender went on to make 73 starts in 93 first-team appearances across all competitions for TFC, scoring five goals from 2010 to 2015. He helped Toronto to three straight Canadian Championships beginning in 2010, including playing every minute of their Voyageurs Cup run in 2012. Henry was transferred to Apollon Limassol FC in October 2014, but did not feature for the Cypriot First Division club, and continued his career on loan to Toronto FC.
Born in North York and raised in Brampton, Henry was honoured with the Canadian U-20 Player of the Year award in 2012, and has 20 starts in 22 caps for the Canadian senior men's national team.
Whitecaps FC kick off their 2018 MLS season on Sunday, March 4 against long-time Canadian rivals Montreal Impact. Fans can secure their tickets today by purchasing a Holiday Pack at whitecapsfc.com/holidaypack, or by becoming a season ticket member at whitecapsfc.com/tickets.
Weight: 180 pounds
Date of Birth: April 20, 1993 in North York, Ontario
Hometown: Brampton, Ontario
Last club: West Ham United FC (EPL: '15-'17)
How Acquired: Acquired on Friday, December 22, 2017 via the Major League Soccer Allocation Process