World Cup 'Caps: Young-Pyo Lee

Over the course of the history of Vancouver Whitecaps FC, a number of players who have played for the club at one point or another have also represented their country at the FIFA World Cup. As we approach the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, we will feature players of years’ past who made it to soccer’s pinnacle event.


A legend for his country, Young-Pyo Lee began his career with Anyang LG Cheetahs in his home country. He would go on to play for European powers PSV Eindhoven, Tottenham Hotspur, and Borussia Dortmund. After a stop with Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal, he joined Vancouver Whitecaps FC in 2012.

For club

Lee was a standout for the ‘Caps at right back, starting 63 of his 65 MLS regular season appearances, as well as the club’s first ever MLS playoff appearance. He had 10 assists in his two seasons, as well as one goal.

He would retire as a Whitecaps FC player after the 2013 season, and he and his family have remained living in Vancouver.

For country

How many players have played at three FIFA World Cups? Lee did so with South Korea, starting with an epic run to the semifinals when his home country hosted in 2002. He played in two more World Cups in 2006 and 2010.

He is one of only seven Korea players to earn 100 appearances for the national team, finishing with 127 caps and scoring five times.

FUN FACT: Lee is now a colour commentator for the South Korean national team on Korean Broadcasting System (KBS), and will be calling his second straight World Cup after covering the 2014 tournament in Brazil.