Whitecaps FC 2 sign BMO Academy product Mihail Gherasimencov, acquire Canadian midfielder Antoine Coupland

WFC2 roster update

VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced on Friday that Whitecaps FC 2 (WFC2) has signed Whitecaps FC BMO MLS Academy fullback Mihail Gherasimencov to an MLS NEXT Pro contract, and acquired midfielder Antoine Coupland on a transfer from Croatian side HNK Rijeka.

“We are finding more and more that our MLS NEXT Pro team is generating interest from young Canadian talent," said Axel Schuster, Whitecaps FC sporting director. "Mihail and Antoine both fit the profile of what we are looking for with our second team. We are happy that they believe our program will help them continue to grow and take the next steps in their career."

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Whitecaps FC fullback Mihail Gherasimencov

  • Born in Balti, Moldova
  • Selected to Whitecaps FC BMO MLS Academy in 2020 after previously playing in the Whitecaps FC BMO Alberta Academy Centre in Calgary
  • Named to the inaugural MLS NEXT All-Star Game in 2022

Gherasimencov, who turns 18 on March 25, was born in Balti, Moldova before his family moved to Calgary, Alberta in 2016.

The defender played his youth soccer with Calgary Blizzard and originally joined the Whitecaps FC BMO Alberta Academy Centre in Calgary, before being selected to the Whitecaps FC BMO MLS Academy program in Vancouver in 2020.

During the 2022 season, Gherasimencov was selected to the inaugural MLS NEXT All-Star Game featuring the top academy players from across the league.

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Whitecaps FC midfielder Antoine Coupland

  • Nine goals and two assists in 23 appearances with HNK Rijeka U-19s in the 1. HNL Juinori
  • Two goals in 18 CPL appearances with Atlético Ottawa
  • Named to Canada’s U-20 provisional squad for the 2022 Concacaf U-20 Championship 

Coupland, 19, arrives from Croatian first division side HNK Rijeka, where he recorded nine goals and two assists across 19 starts and 23 appearances in two seasons with the club’s U-19 team in the 1. HNL Juinori.

Prior to making the move to Europe, the native of Chelsea, Québec played with Canadian Premier League side Atlético Ottawa for two seasons. The youngster started eight of his 18 appearances and scored two goals across all competitions during his time with the club. 

Coupland originally signed his first professional contract in 2019 with former USL Championship side Ottawa Fury FC, making three appearances across all competitions. 

In his youth, Coupland played with Ottawa St. Anthony SC’s Futuro Soccer Academy program. 

At the international level, Coupland was previously named to Canada’s U-20 provisional squad for the 2022 Concacaf U-20 Championship. 

Mihail Gherasimencov
Position: Fullback
Height: 5-10
Weight: 155 pounds
Date of Birth: March 25, 2005 in Balti, Moldova 
Hometown: Calgary, Alberta 
Citizenship: Canada, Moldova
Status: Domestic 
Youth clubs: Whitecaps FC BMO Academy, Calgary Blizzard
Instagram: @mihailgherasimencov

Antoine Coupland
Position: Midfielder 
Height: 5-08
Weight: 160 pounds
Date of Birth: December 12, 2003 in Chelsea, Québec 
Hometown: Chelsea, Québec 
Citizenship: Canada 
Status: Domestic 
Previous clubs: HNK Rijeka (2022-23), Atlético Ottawa (2020-22), Ottawa Fury FC (2019) 
Youth clubs: Ottawa St. Anthony SC’s Futuro Soccer Academy, Ottawa Fury
Instagram: @antoinecoupland
Twitter: @couplandantoine