Whitecaps accepted into US Soccer Development Academy

The Whitecaps have now received confirmation that they have been accepted into the US Soccer Development Academy. This is the top youth league in the United States for boys and entry is both highly sought and highly guarded.

Don’t know which age groups they plan to enter teams in at (the Seattle Sounders have a U15/U16 boys team in the U16 division and a U17/U18 team in the U18 division) but it is a bit of a coup for them and will really re-define the Prospects program.

As we knew, those selected for Prospects were going to play full time in that program for the first time and evaluation/selection “combines” are currently underway with a U15/U16 boys roster expected to be finalized soon. Reportedly, they have players from across Canada and internationally attending these sessions looking to be selected. Not clear what is happening with the girls at this age and if the combines are for them as well.

The U14 program will group 1997, 98 and 99 born players together with 25 having already been identified (boys only again, I believe). A combine scheduled for April 4-6 will see an additional 45 invitees compete for the last 10-12 spots.

The Whitecaps are trying to finalize this as soon as possible so that BCPL franchises will know who is available to them.

I’ll post more and update any inaccuracies as I find out more. Feel free to add/correct in the comments to round out this info.

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10 Responses to Whitecaps accepted into US Soccer Development Academy

  1. K says:

    “From across Canada and Internationally” – people can relax now over the impact this will have on BCPL quality of play??? I think so. Whitecaps MLS cachement is BC-Sask I believe….

  2. Colin Elmes says:


  3. Colin Elmes says:

    Like the 4-4-3……

  4. Colin Elmes says:

    That was exactly what I was told. Just after expressing their concerns that I had not enlisted any assistant coaches for our 10 teams…..

  5. Jay says:

    Any idea on what will happen with the U18 prospects? Their isnt enough 94’s on the residency roster so will they be holding a combine too?

  6. Gregor says:

    Here’s the press release that went out on Friday:


    Expanded Residency program will compete as the only Canadian club in North America’s top youth league

    VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC and the United States Soccer Federation announced today that Whitecaps FC have been selected to join the U.S. Soccer Development Academy for the 2011-12 season. In doing so, Whitecaps FC become the first and only Canadian club in America’s premier youth academy system. Entrance into the Academy is part of a substantial expansion of the Whitecaps FC Residency program that will make it one of the most integrated soccer development programs in North America.

    “We are very excited to be part of the Development Academy and thank U.S. Soccer for the opportunity,” said Dan Lenarduzzi, Whitecaps FC director of soccer development. “We have had tremendous success with the Residency program over the past several years and this expansion of our club system represents a further substantial investment. The Development Academy will now provide the important competitive platform needed for the top youth players from British Columbia and across Canada to thrive.”

    The Academy is a partnership between U.S. 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 will play in the Northwest Division of the Western Conference alongside fellow Major League Soccer rivals Seattle Sounders FC and San Jose Earthquakes, as well as Washington State’s Crossfire Premier and some of the top youth clubs in California. Other Western Conference MLS club academies include Real Salt Lake, Chivas USA, and LA Galaxy.

    “Vancouver Whitecaps FC have demonstrated they are heavily invested in player development and have a well-established residency program,” said U.S. Soccer Development Academy Director of Scouting Tony Lepore. “Whitecaps FC meets the strong technical standards and expectations required and will elevate the level of competition for Academy players. We look forward to integrating another well-qualified, MLS Academy club into the youth player development environment.”

    In September 2011, the Residency program will grow from the current squad of 25 players in the U-17 to U-19 age range to teams in the U-14, U-16, and U-18 categories. With this expansion, the full-time Residency program will comprise more than 80 of the top players from across British Columbia and Canada. Aspiring players can now enter the Whitecaps FC club system full-time as early as age 12, and be nurtured in an age appropriate learning environment, with progressing steps that will help them attain a successful professional and national team career.

    “I’m eager to combine the best of my experiences in the European development system, with the unique qualities and characteristics of Canadian players,” said Residency technical director and head coach Richard Grootscholten. “We look forward to working with the soccer community to produce a high quality pipeline of talented young players that supports both Whitecaps FC and Canada’s national teams.”

    Supported by the Whitecaps Foundation, the Residency program has become a symbol of the club’s dedication and investment in player development, with the aim of increasing professional opportunities for Canadian players. This includes Residency graduates such as two-time Canadian U-17 Player of the Year Russell Teibert, who has earned a starting spot on the Whitecaps FC MLS team as an 18-year-old. Teibert is also one of six Whitecaps FC Residency products on Canada’s current U-20 national team. They include Derrick Bassi, Ben Fisk, Ethan Gage, Coulton Jackson, and Julien Latendresse-Lévesque.

    “We are committed to providing young players the opportunity to develop at the highest level,” said Teitur Thordarson, Whitecaps FC men’s team head coach. “These players have the opportunity to develop the nucleus of our MLS team.”

    The recent establishment of the new EA Sports BC Soccer Premier League will provide an opportunity to work closely with BC Soccer and the new franchises to create a natural feeder system into the club’s Residency program.

    “We are very pleased to see the effort and energy that Whitecaps FC have invested in player development in BC and look forward to seeing homegrown success on the soccer stage,” said Steve Allen, Chair of the BC Soccer Player Development Committee. “BC Soccer are looking forward to working with Whitecaps FC to build and develop similar co-branded programs in the future.”

  7. APL says:

    Have the Residency players all been identified and taken out of the pool for hpl yet? If not is there a timeline for this to happen?

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