New 'Caps forward Brian White ready to earn his playing time

New Vancouver Whitecaps FC forward Brian White spoke to the media on Tuesday for the first time since being acquired from New York Red Bulls on Wednesday, June 2.

“I’m coming and competing for a spot to play a lot,” said White. “With the international breaks this summer, there are going to be a lot of opportunities to fight for a position, to be in the starting team, and to get a lot of minutes. I’m really excited for that opportunity and I’m really going to work hard to earn my spot on the field.”

2020, White was named Red Bulls Offensive Player of the Year after posting six goals and one assist in 19 games during the pandemic shortened season. Since signing in MLS in August 2018, White has scored 16 goals in 50 games and when you take into account minutes played that’s 0.54 goals per 90. He credits his team play and opportunism for his success.

“I pride myself in being able to hold the ball up and create space for other guys with my runs and movements. I like to be active in the box; when the ball’s in there, I sniff it out and try and get on the end of it and put it in the back of the net.”

White admitted he wasn’t expecting to be traded from New York, but that surprise quickly turned into excitement. He loves the city of Vancouver and resonates with the style of play Whitecaps FC employs.

“It’s very possession based – you slow the game down and wait for the right moments to attack the goal. That’s the way I like to play soccer.”

“I try to stay as ready as possible for that one moment as a forward. You’re not going to always get a whole bunch of chances in the game, so when you get the one chance you have to be ready.”

Outside of his four years spent with Duke University, White has played soccer almost exclusively in his home state of New Jersey. When asked about the transition, he had a positive outlook.

“Utah is completely different from Jersey, and then Vancouver is going to be a completely different experience [as well]. It’s going to be good for me to experience different cities, different environments, and I’m really excited about it.”

Whitecaps FC defender Jake Nerwinski is White’s fellow statesman, and the two of them have known each other for a few years from the soccer scene back in New Jersey. Nerwinski has helped his new teammate with the coast-to-coast transition as well.

“Jake was very positive about how cool Vancouver is as a city and how I’m going to fit into this team and this organization. He really helped me get excited for the move out here.”

White concluded his time by setting the record straight on a very important topic.

“I think a couple of guys would call me ‘BDubs’ at Red Bull, but for most of my life everyone’s called me ‘Whitey’ wherever I went. That’s my most popular nickname.”

“Whitey” may see his first MLS action with Whitecaps FC next Friday, June 18, at 7 pm PT, when Vancouver face Real Salt Lake.