VANCOUVER, BC - Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced on Tuesday that the club has signed Residency forward Theo Bair to a multi-year MLS Homegrown pre-contract beginning in 2019. Bair will be eligible for first-team competition next year.
“Theo is a big, strong player. He likes to score goals and he’s caught fire recently,” said head coach Carl Robinson. “There’s raw potential in him. We are excited to see him develop as he trains with the first team on a regular basis.”
With Bair, Michael Baldisimo, Simon Colyn, Sean Melvin, and David Norman Jr., Whitecaps FC now have inked five players from the club’s development system to MLS Homegrown contracts in the past eight months. Bair, Baldisimo, and Colyn, plus fellow Homegrown player Alphonso Davies, give the ‘Caps four teenagers on their first-team roster.
"It's an unreal feeling," added Bair. "Earning an MLS contract with Vancouver has been my primary goal for a long time. The Academy was another unreal experience, they gave us everything and pushed us in the right direction. I'm fortunate the hard work has provided me the opportunity to step into the first-team environment and I now look forward to this challenge."
WFC forward Theo Bair
- One of five players from the club’s development system signed to MLS Homegrown contracts in the past eight months
- 60 goals in 75 starts and 98 appearances for WFC Residency U-16, U-18, and U-19
- Led ‘Caps U-19s with six goals in recent Academy playoffs
- Scored a goal in four appearances for Canada U-21 at the Festival International Espoirs Provence last May
Bair, 18, will be joining the first team in 2019 after scoring 28 goals in 30 starts and 34 appearances for the WFC Residency U-19 in the 2017-18 Development Academy season, including playoffs, while helping the side to a fourth-place finish in the Academy Championship earlier this month.
The 6-foot-4 forward originally joined the WFC Residency program in 2015, splitting his time between the U-16 and U-18 sides in his first year. Bair was a member of the U-18 side that finished second in 2016, and then helped the U-16 team to a fourth-place finish in the following year.
In his three seasons of DA league and cup tournament competition, Bair totalled 60 goals in 75 starts and 98 appearances for the WFC Residency U-16, U-18/U-19 teams.
A native of Ottawa, Ontario, Bair made his debut for the Canadian youth program in a U-18 series in El Salvador in June 2016. At the Festival International Espoirs Provence in France last May, Bair featured in all four fixtures for the national U-21 side, scoring a goal in his lone start versus Japan.
Bair started his youth career with Ottawa Royals, before joining Capital United FC and West Ottawa SC before his move to Vancouver.
Date of Birth: August 27, 1999 in Ottawa, ON
Hometown: Ottawa, ON
Status: Homegrown, Domestic
Last Club: Whitecaps FC Residency U-19 (Development Academy ‘18)
Transaction: Signed to MLS Homegrown pre-contract on July 17, 2018 for January 1, 2019