"That's got to be your goal, to go and develop and play in atmospheres and occasions like this. So one day you can come back and play against Toronto, and then we'll see who your dad supports."
Those were the words of 'Caps head coach Carl Robinson to Ethan Gopaul following Saturday's 4-3 win over Toronto FC, after Ethan noted that his dad and brother came wearing Toronto FC jackets. Gopaul was recently selected from the London Academy Centre to join the U-18 Residency team in Vancouver.
Gopaul, clad in his Whitecaps jersey, attended the match with his mom, dad, stepdad, sister, brother, and his girlfriend. After the match, he had a very special opportunity to meet Robinson (video above), as well as assistant coach and head of high performance Gordon Forrest, and club president Bob Lenarduzzi. While talking about his future, Robinson made sure to point out that his dad's allegiance could someday change.
Gopaul was one of a number of players from the Whitecaps FC London Academy Centre at BMO Field on Saturday to cheer on the 'Caps. He also had the chance to meet his favourite 'Caps player and Saturday's hero, MLS Player of the Week Kekuta Manneh.
More pictures from London Academy players meeting the 'Caps below:
Whitecaps FC Academy Centres are a network of regional training hubs linked through key staff, curriculum, and standards that provide professional supplemental club training for serious, motivated players. Whitecaps FC currently have a network from British Columbia to Ontario, including locations in Kamloops, the Kootenays, London (Ontario), Manitoba, Northern BC, the Okanagan, Saskatchewan, Squamish, Vancouver, and Vancouver Island. For more information, visit whitecapsfc.com/academy and select the academy in your region.