VANCOUVER, BC – Stunned and speechless.
That’s how 17-year old Kadin Chung felt after maneuvering his way through traffic and launching from the edge of the box and right into the net, leaving the England U-20 national team players scratching their heads, wondering what just hit them.
“I couldn’t think. I wasn’t feeling anything. It was unbelievable,” the full back from Port Coquitlam said. “At that moment, I didn’t know how big it was, until afterwards. It ended up being a huge goal and a huge moment for us.”
It opened the scoring for the Canadian U-20 side and jumpstarted them to a 2-1 win in Doncaster last week, with fellow Whitecaps FC Residency product and 'Caps teammate Marco Bustos slotting in the match-winner.
“It’s always a huge honour to be called up to the national team but if it weren’t for my time with Whitecaps FC 2, I wouldn’t have been ready,” Chung said. “The USL is a really physical league. Just being in that environment playing against grown men, it’s huge in preparing me for international competition.”
After joining WFC2 late in their inaugural season, Chung is primed and ready to contribute to head coach Alan Koch’s side this year. On Chung's first match back from his international stint with Canada U-20, Koch tabbed him to start against Timbers 2 this past Saturday. The Port Coquitlam native responded with 90 solid minutes in his first professional start, helping the 'Caps to a 3-1 win.
“Now that I’m going into my second season, I have to be ready to play more minutes and become a regular in the 18 or the starting eleven,” Chung said. “Last year, it was more about getting some experience in, now it’s more about putting out good performances, and trying to push forward within the club.”
His progress is being tracked closely by Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson, who had Chung participate in the first team's training camp in preseason.
“Kadin’s got a great future ahead of him. We took him in preseason because I know what he’s about," Robinson said. "Playing in the USL will do him a world of good, because you’re playing against men. When you’re playing on Saturdays against men and it means everything to get three points, that’s an important part of the makeup for a young footballer. That will hopefully stand him in good stead to kick on to the first team.”
The secret is out – the kid can play. Next time Chung pulls another trick out of his bag, it will come as a surprise to no one.
Whitecaps FC 2 face a tough early test on Sunday, April 10 when they host Sacramento Republic FC for their home-opener at Thunderbird Stadium. MLS season ticket holders can redeem their WFC2 tickets through Account Manager, while single match tickets are available here.
This year, every Tier 1 ‘Caps Club MLS membership includes three open tickets to WFC2 matches. Members can select their matches and theme days online through Account Manager. Information on theme days is available at whitecapsfc.com/wfc2/themedays.
Youth season passes are also available for $30 all in. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 604-484-7862.