VANCOUVER, BC - Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced on Tuesday that the club has signed Residency midfielder Michael Baldisimo to a multi-year MLS Homegrown contract.
Baldisimo will be available for selection for the Canadian Championship beginning on Wednesday, July 18 when the ‘Caps visit Montreal Impact for the first leg of their semifinal series – Kickoff: 4:30 p.m. PT, Radio: TSN 1040, Online: CanadaSoccer.com.
“Michael does everything you want as a young midfield player, plus he can even play at right back. Ability wise, he’s got it all and we are looking forward to working with him as he continues to develop both on and off the pitch,” said head coach Carl Robinson. “Whether you play under-17, under-19, or the first team, it doesn’t faze him. When he gets his chance, he’ll be able to take it.”
With Baldisimo, Simon Colyn, Sean Melvin, and David Norman Jr., as well as Theo Bair signing a pre-contract, 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.
“Joining the first team is amazing. Being a Homegrown player, knowing the club is willing to invest in me, it feels really rewarding,” said Baldisimo. “I just want to work hard, try and make my first-team debut, play some games, and continue to develop.”
WFC midfielder Michael Baldisimo
- One of five players from the club’s development system signed to MLS Homegrown contracts in the past eight months
- Made professional debut in 2016 with Whitecaps FC 2 in USL
- 13 goals in 82 starts and 88 appearances for WFC Residency U-16, U-18, and U-19
- Represented Canada at the 2017 CONCACAF Men’s U-17 Championship
Baldisimo, 18, joins the first team after helping lead the WFC Residency U-19 team to a semifinal finish in the Academy Championship this month, scoring four goals in 27 appearances in the 2017-18 season. He has also previously spent time with the first team, participating in their preseason camp in 2016 and training sessions over the last two plus seasons.
The midfielder made his professional debut as an Academy call-up with Whitecaps FC 2 in 2016, before signing a contract with the former United Soccer League (USL) side in 2017, totaling six starts and 13 league appearances.
After joining the club’s Residency program at age 11, Baldisimo began competing with the U-13 Pre-Residency team, then moved up to the Residency U-16 and U-18 teams. He helped WFC Residency U-18 to a runner-up finish in 2016, and the U-16 side to fourth place in the 73-team Development Academy the following year.
In total, Baldisimo scored 13 goals in 82 starts and 88 appearances, including playoffs, for the WFC Residency U-16, U-18, and U-19 teams in three seasons of DA competition.
At the international level, the Burnaby, BC native represented Canada at the 2017 CONCACAF Men’s U-17 Championship and was called up to the national U-21 team for the Festival International Espoirs Provence in France last May. He made his debut in the Canadian youth program in 2014 at age 14.
Michael is one of three Baldisimo brothers to develop within the WFC Residency program, along with elder brother Mark and middle brother Matthew who is playing with Vancouver’s USL affiliate Fresno FC. In his youth, Michael played for Wesburn Youth Soccer Club, South Burnaby Metro Club, Mountain United FC, and Burnaby Selects.
Date of Birth: April 13, 2000 in Burnaby, BC
Hometown: Burnaby, BC
Status: Homegrown, Domestic
Last Club: Whitecaps FC Residency U-19 (Development Academy ‘18)
Transaction: Signed to MLS Homegrown contract on July 17, 2018