MSA visit 2016

Manitoba Soccer Association visits 'Caps to kick off second year of partnership

Last May, Vancouver Whitecaps FC and the Manitoba Soccer Association announced a groundbreaking player development partnership. As part of that growing relationship, the ‘Caps welcomed the technical leaders of the MSA and their five district partner clubs from Winnipeg this past week to learn more about Whitecaps FC’s player development and operation strategies.

"It's an exciting time for us as a province and as technical leaders in Manitoba," said Yiannis Tsalatsidis, assistant technical director of the St Charles Soccer Association. "This week we got a good look at how the club operates at the various levels from the prospects to the first team. It was encouraging to see the great investment put into the youth teams. We had a great week with a lot of value we can bring back to our clubs."

MSA Technical Leaders



Manitoba Soccer Association



Manitoba Soccer Association



Manitoba Soccer Association



Bonivital Soccer Club



FC Northwest



FC Northwest



St Charles Soccer Association



St Charles Soccer Association



Winnipeg South End United



Winnipeg South End United



Winnipeg Pheonix FC

The traveling contingent spent the week learning and discussing player development and best practices in Vancouver to help further programs in Manitoba.

“These trips are always tremendously beneficial as we grow our programs and work together to further player development in Canada,” added Whitecaps FC director of soccer development Dan Lenarduzzi. “It’s been a fantastic first year working with the MSA, but we’ve only just scratched the surface. We look forward to great things ahead.”

Whitecaps FC currently have six players at the club from Manitoba, including MLS players Marco Bustos and Kianz Froese, as well as Residency players Andre BairesKyle Gomes, Georges Mukumbilwa, and Daniel Sagno.

The group were taken on a tour of BC Place Stadium and watched a first team training session, followed by a meeting with MLS assistant coach and head of high performance Gordon Forrest.

Following that, they took in a Girls Elite REX training session and met with women’s head coach and academy director Emma Humphries.

Day two brought a visit to the front office, followed by a tour of the Residency program facilities and training program.

The evening was capped by watching the MLS match between Whitecaps FC and Sporting Kansas City.

To wrap-up the trip, a workshop with Residency coaching staff, including technical director Craig Dalrymple.

That was followed in the evening by a pre-prospects training session led by James Merriman on the boys side and Humphries on the girls side.

Manitoba now hosts both a Whitecaps FC Boys Residency Prospects program, as well as a Girls Elite REX Prospects program. The programs run from U-13 to U-17, with Pre-Prospects from U-9 to U-12. The MSA programs also include regional District Prospects Centres and Prospect Camps which feed into the Pre-Prospects group.

The MSA program is a part of the Whitecaps FC Academy Centre network, including locations on Vancouver Island, in the Okanagan, Kamloops, Northern BC, the Kootenays, the Sea-to-Sky Corridor, Saskatchewan, and London, Ontario.