VANCOUVER, BC - The cat is out of the bag.
His reputation as a versatile and dynamic left back already growing in the USL, Brett Levis had a coming out party of sorts amongst Vancouver Whitecaps FC fans on Tuesday evening at BC Place.
Sharing the stage with English Premier League veterans and senior international players, the 23-year old from Saskatoon stole the show with a dazzling display of vision and distribution after coming on for the final 30 minutes of the international friendly versus Crystal Palace FC.
Down 2-1, Levis put on a passing clinic, serving up crosses from the wing and whipping in pin-point passes to Masato Kudo, Kendall Waston, and fellow Whitecaps FC 2 call-up Kyle Greig, with Waston cashing in on the header for the equalizer.
"This year, I’ve moved back to left back, so a bigger part of my game is definitely service from wide areas," the former attacking midfielder told reporters. "I’ve been working a lot on that throughout the year, and I thought I put in some good balls and Kendall put it home, so that was nice.”
Already with three goals and two assists to go with a pair of USL Team of the Week selections for Western Conference leaders Whitecaps FC 2 this season, Levis was quick to acclimatize himself with the physicality, pace, and skill level on competition in his first team debut.
He was one of four USL players added to the roster for the test against the EPL side, impressing first-team coach Carl Robinson.
“I wanted to give them the opportunity to play and step in with the MLS players. We have this USL team for a reason and when they get the opportunity to play in a game like this against top players, it means a lot. They’ve all done themselves very proud," Robinson said.
"They’re obviously different players but you see Brett crossing some great balls, setting up the goal and setting up the chance for Kyle. You see Daniel [Haber] with his work rate. So there’s a number of good performances from those guys. Little details in football are the most important, goals for and goals against, and these boys have got to learn, because the top players do it the best.”
Levis was quick to point out the importance of developing up the ranks within the club to his performance.
"I think it speaks tremendous volumes," said Levis, a former University of Saskatchewan athlete who also played with the 'Caps U-23s. "The development itself [is] to push players through the U-18's, Whitecaps FC 2, and hopefully on to the first team."
With this experience under his belt, Levis now looks ahead to finishing out season strong for WFC2, who are back at Thunderbird Stadium on Sunday after being on the road for over a month.
“It’s amazing to get this opportunity. I feel like I’ve been working really hard and Whitecaps FC 2 have been doing really good this season, so it’s not only me but it’s really good to see some of the other guys – Kyle, Sem [de Wit], and Haber – to get an opportunity too. Hopefully, we keep doing well in our season and look forward to the future.”
Levis and Whitecaps FC 2 host Sacramento Republic FC on Sunday at Thunderbird Stadium for Game at the Game. The festivities include a FIFA '16 Tournament at 1 p.m. prior to kickoff at 2 p.m. Click here for tickets.
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.
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