Whitecaps FC 2 begin their third USL season this Saturday when they travel to face LA Galaxy II at 2 p.m. PT (watch live on whitecapsfc.com).
The ‘Caps have had one of the youngest teams in the league over their first two seasons, and this year’s team is expected to be even younger, featuring a mixture of exciting prospects.
During this coming week we’ll look at several different members of the 2017 USL squad. As in past seasons, the team will be supplemented by loans from the MLS roster throughout the year.
With last year’s captain Kyle Greig now signed to the MLS team, today we look at four returning leaders on the USL roster.
Like Greig before him, Seymore takes the reins as the “old man” of the team at 25-years-old, along with goalkeeper Mark Village. That of course is in jest, but as an elder statesman he will be counted on to be a team leader, and he’s been doing just that by wearing the captain’s armband in preseason.
The dual American-English citizen is a hard-nosed, no nonsense central midfielder who will keep the team organized, break up plays, and initiate the attack back the other way. He can also step in to the centre back position without hesitation, as we’ve seen in preseason.
Expect Seymore to keep this young team ticking.
The Dutch centre back came in on trial ahead of the 2016 season, then ended up as the WFC2 Player of the Year. Still only 21, de Wit has quickly become a team leader, also wearing the armband during preseason.
Prior to the start of the MLS season, de Wit traveled with the first team to Wales. Unfortunately injury struck at the wrong time as he was forced to sit out the duration of training and matches.
With experience playing professionally in his home country, de Wit brings a calming influence to the backline, winning challenges, controlling the pace of the match, and using his ability to pick out a pass.
Now in his second USL season, expect to de Wit to continue to make strides.
The 36th overall selection in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft, Sanner ended up getting a late start to his season after returning to Princeton to finish his schooling.
But once he arrived, he made an impact. The 6-foot-4 striker scored his first professional goal in dramatic fashion, netting a terrific diving header effort in stoppage time to win a July 24 match over USL powerhouse Sacramento Republic FC. A couple weeks later, he was named USL Player of the Week when he registered the team’s first-ever hat-trick in a 3-1 win over Arizona in Langley – all in the last 10 minutes of the match after coming on as a substitute.
With more starts expected this season, don’t be surprised if Sanner significantly adds to his goal total.
The Calgary native and Whitecaps FC Residency graduate enters his third USL season with WFC2. Serban is naturally a fan favourite at Thunderbird Stadium after also playing there for the UBC men’s soccer team.
Though not necessarily the most vocal player, Serban will lead through his non-stop work rate by setting the tone with his play on the field.
The 5-foot-10 right back will give you everything while defending, and also overlap to get into the attack. In his first season he made 16 USL appearances and had a goal and as assist, but injuries last year limited him to just seven matches. This year the 21-year-old is pushing to get back to full health and make a big impact on the 2017 season.
WFC2 begin their home schedule on Saturday, April 8 versus Cascadia rival Seattle Sounders FC 2 at McLeod Athletic Park in Langley, BC, where they play six 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.