The Vancouver Whitecaps F.C.’s rebranded residency program will include a goalkeeper from Tsawwassen for the 2018-19 season which kicked off this weekend in Portland.
The Major League Soccer club announced its full-funded program will now be known as the Whitecaps FC Academy. It is based out of the Whitecaps FC National Soccer Development Centre at UBC.
The Whitecaps U15 squad includes Harrison Gough who broke into the Residency program a year ago after playing for the Delta Coastal Selects. He came through the former Tsawwassen Soccer Club and spent significant time working with goalkeeper coach Helmut Wiebe.
As a member of the Academy program, Gough continues to attend Prince of Wales Secondary School with other players which is a short commute to the National Soccer Development Centre at UBC where training takes place.
The first home matches of the season U.S. Soccer Development Academy season at the NSDC will take place next Saturday versus Seattle Sounders FC Academy.
In the past year, five players from the Academy ranks have signed MLS contracts with the Whitecaps FC first team, while Academy graduate Alphonso Davies was selected for the 2018 MLS All-Star Game and made an MLS record transfer to perennial German Bundesliga powerhouse FC Bayern Munich.
A total of 43 players on this season’s roster hail from B.C., accounting for 65 percent of the entire academy.
Seven players are joining the full-time Whitecaps FC Academy from the club's Regional Academy Centres across Canada — including four from Alberta and one each from centres in London, Okanagan and Saskatchewan. That’s in addition to five more out-of-province additions.
This coming December, a select group of players from the Academy, as well as players from the club's Regional Academy Centres, will travel to Spain on a sponsored trip from Adidas to train at the academy of famed Spanish club and three-time defending UEFA Champions League winners Real Madrid C.F. at Real Madrid City.