Residency program rebranded to Whitecaps FC Academy, rosters announced

VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced on Tuesday that the club’s full-time, fully funded residency program has officially been rebranded as Whitecaps FC Academy.

The Academy continues to develop top young talent from across Canada at the club’s new Whitecaps FC National Soccer Development Centre (NSDC) which opened in 2017. In the past year, five players from the Academy ranks have signed MLS contracts with the Whitecaps FC first team, while Academy graduate Alphonso Davies was selected for the 2018 MLS All-Star Game and made an MLS record transfer to perennial German Bundesliga powerhouse FC Bayern Munich.

ROSTERS

The program kicked off training for their 2018-19 season last month, with rosters confirmed for each age group:

Combined, 22 new players are entering the Academy this year. A total of 43 players hail from British Columbia, accounting for 65 per cent of the total in the program. Eleven new players join from the BC Soccer Premier League:

DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY SCHEDULE

League matches in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy begin on Saturday, September 8 when the ‘Caps travel south to take on rivals Portland Timbers Academy. The first home matches of the season at the NSDC will take place on Saturday, September 15 versus Seattle Sounders FC Academy.

COACHING STAFF

The Academy is led by technical director Craig Dalrymple. who has overseen 17 players from the program progress to sign MLS Homegrown contracts with the first team during his tenure. 

Coming on board at the NSDC to coach the U-19 team is Ricky King, who will make the transition to Vancouver in the coming months after serving as head coach of the Whitecaps FC Alberta South Academy Centre. Prior to that, King was an academy coach at MLS club New York Red Bulls. He will be assisted by Michael D’Agostino, who returns after assisting with the club’s younger Academy teams last season.

Coaching the U-17 team will be long-time club coach Rich Fagan, who has twice led teams to the Academy Championship Finals, along with experience as head coach in USL. Fagan will be assisted by Dalibor Plavsic, who previously worked as a learning facilitator with BC Soccer, and coached with the Whitecaps FC Regional Academy Centre in Vancouver.

The U-15 team will be led by Scott Howey, who moves up to coach the group after overseeing the club’s U-14 squad the previous season. Howey is being assisted by Dan Fairhurst, who previously coached at Mountain United FC and in the BC Soccer High Performance Program.

Raegyn Hall returns as Academy goalkeeper coach, continuing to push keepers at all levels into the professional ranks. He will be assisted by Lucas Menz, who previously coached at Fusion FC and Quest University.

COAST-TO-COAST PATHWAY

Seven players are joining the full-time Whitecaps FC Academy in Vancouver from the club’s Regional Academy Centres across Canada:

Alberta South Academy Centre
London Academy Centre
Okanagan Academy Centre
Saskatchewan Academy Centre

The club's nationwide commitment to developing players recently expanded to Moose JawNorthwest Territories, and in the Yukon.

Other out-of-province newcomers include:

Also entering the program is dual Peruvian-Canadian midfielder Vasco Fry, who joins family in Vancouver after moving from the academy of Peruvian club Sporting Cristal.

GENERATION ADIDAS CUP

For the first time in program history, Whitecaps FC U-15 and U-17 Academy teams will be participating in Major League Soccer’s Generation Adidas Cup, taking on elite academy competition from not only MLS, but around the world.

The first round of the competition will be hosted by Real Salt Lake in October, followed by the second round in February hosted by LA Galaxy. The final round will take place in April at a venue to be determined.

TRAINING WITH REAL MADRID FOUNDATION COACHES

This coming December, a select group of players from the Academy, as well as players from the club’s Regional Academy Centres, will travel to Spain on a sponsored trip from adidas to train at the academy of famed Spanish club and three-time defending UEFA Champions League winners Real Madrid C.F. at Real Madrid City.

DEVELOPMENT TEAM

Additionally this season, the club has revealed that a new development team consisting of top prospects from the Academy and young players from the first team will be assembled to compete in a series of friendly matches.

A group of young players will kick things off with a match at USL affiliate Fresno FC this coming Wednesday, September 5, followed by a trip to Mexico City for the larger group in October, which will include a match against Mexico’s U-20 national team.

For more information on the Whitecaps FC Academy, visit whitecapsfc.com/capsacademy. To find out how to become a host family for a Whitecaps FC Academy player, visit whitecapsfc.com/billet.

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