VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced on Thursday that the club has signed centre back Francis de Vries to Whitecaps FC 2 (WFC2) for the 2017 United Soccer League (USL) season, pending league and federation approval.
The defender from Saint Francis University was drafted in the second round (29th overall) by Whitecaps FC in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft. During preseason with the Whitecaps FC first team, de Vries played in all three matches in Wales against Cardiff City, Oxford United, and Bristol City U-23 teams.
"Francis is a promising young centre back who is very good on the ball," said WFC2 head coach Rich Fagan. "He brings a strong pedigree to our group as a two-time PDL champion, and having also spent time in Europe before attending college. We're excited to work with Francis as he continues to develop."
Whitecaps FC 2 centre back Francis de Vries
- Two-time Northeastern Conference Defender of the Year (2014 and 2015)
- Three-time NSCAA All-American (2014, 2015, 2016)
- Won two PDL championships with Michigan Bucks (2014 and 2016)
- Spent time with FC Basel academy in Switzerland
De Vries, 22, played four seasons at Saint Francis University. The native of Christchurch, New Zealand started all 78 of his appearances, scoring 15 goals and recording six assists. His performances saw him named a three-time NSCAA All-American, once on the second team and twice on the third team, as well as two-time Northeastern Conference Defender of the Year, and First Team All-Northeastern Conference in all four of his college years.
In between his collegiate career, de Vries played in the USL PDL with Michigan Bucks, helping the club win the league championship in both 2014 and 2016.
Prior to enrolling at Saint Francis, the 6-foot-2 defender played in the youth academy of New Zealand club Canterbury United, winning the 2011 National Youth League, and later at the academy of FC Basel in Switzerland.
Whitecaps FC 2 open the 2017 USL season on the road at LA Galaxy II on Saturday, March 25. They begin their home slate on Saturday, April 8 versus Cascadia rival Seattle Sounders FC 2 at McLeod Athletic Park in Langley, BC, where they play six of their home matches this upcoming season. The first of their 10-match home schedule at UBC Thunderbird Stadium is on Saturday, April 22 versus San Antonio FC. Click here for ticket information.
Francis de Vries
Date of Birth: November 28, 1994
Hometown: Christchurch, New Zealand
Citizenship: New Zealand
Last Club: Saint Francis University Red Flash
Transaction: Selected 29th overall in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft by Whitecaps FC. Signed to a USL contract with Whitecaps FC 2 on March 16, 2017.