Whitecaps FC Academy

Program Info

Identification, development and placement as a professional player

Whitecaps FC Academy is a full-time, fully funded, player development program unlike any other in North America. The Academy is designed to maximize a player’s potential on and off the field through a “soccer lifestyle” philosophy linking technical and personal development.  By integrating training, education and accommodation, all conveniently situated near the University of British Columbia (UBC), Whitecaps FC Academy provides the perfect conditions to develop and prepare elite athletes for the mental and physical demands of professional environments in North America and Europe.

The full-time Academy is comprised of approximately 70 of the top players from across British Columbia and Canada. Aspiring players can enter the Whitecaps FC club system full-time as early as age 12, and be nurtured in an age appropriate learning environment, with gradational steps that will help them attain a successful professional club and national team career.

Academy teams are included at the U-15, U-17, and U-19 age groups, playing in the United States Soccer Development Academy (DA), the premier youth academy league in North America. Whitecaps FC were the first ever Canadian club to join the Development Academy in 2011. The league is a partnership between US Soccer and the top youth clubs throughout North America, with the objective of providing players with the best opportunity to achieve their potential as elite soccer players. Whitecaps FC Academyy play in the Northwest Division of the Western Conference alongside fellow Major League Soccer rivals Portland Timbers, Seattle Sounders FC and San Jose Earthquakes, as well professional club Sacramento Republic FC and other top youth academies from the Pacific Northwest and California. Other MLS clubs in the Development Academy Western Conference include LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake.

  • Successful Academy graduates enter the first team development environment that includes training and competitive opportunities with the club's MLS team

International standards and preparation

  • Individualized programs using statistical and video analysis
  • Age specific training with emphasis on speed of play and performance criteria
  • Sports Science programs including strength and conditioning, psychology, nutrition, and medical support
  • Competitive environments including elite competitions and tournaments.

Professional facilities, education and lifestyle planning

  • First class full-time education is provided through University Hill Secondary School
  • Accommodation is provided through the Whitecaps FC Billet Program where players are hosted by local families
  • The Academy is head-quartered at the world-class National Soccer Development Centre (NSDC)

Professional Opportunities

The Whitecaps FC Academy has become a symbol of the club’s dedication and investment in player development, with the program aimed to increase professional opportunities for Canadian players. This has included graduates such as Canadian men's national team players Alphonso Davies and Russell Teibert.


Whitecaps FC are committed to collaborating with partner clubs, provincial and national programs. The establishment of the EA SPORTS BC Soccer Premier League has created a natural local feeder system into the club’s full-time Academy.


Players are identified through our extensive scouting network and player evaluation processes.  In accordance with MLS territorial regulations, Whitecaps FC recruit players from BC, Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and parts of Eastern Canada.  The primary objective is to identify local (BC-based) and Canadian players.    

For further recruiting inquiries, please contact: Whitecaps FC Academy recruitment officer Frank Ciaccia at fciaccia@whitecapsfc.com.