The Vancouver Whitecaps have loaned Canadian striker Caleb Clarke to FC Augsburg of the German Bundesliga for one year.
It's a move that makes plenty of sense, considering the 'Caps are log-jammed at the striker position, with names like Mattocks, Hertzog, and Heinemann trying to carve out substitution time behind Camilo and Kenny Miller.
The Whitecaps official press release is below.
VANCOUVER, BC - Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced today that striker Caleb Clarke will join German Bundesliga club FC Augsburg on a year-long loan.
"Caleb is a young player with a lot of upside," said Martin Rennie, Whitecaps FC head coach. "This is a great opportunity for Caleb to continue in his development and we look forward to seeing the progress he’ll make while with FC Augsburg."
Clarke, 20, will train and play with FC Augsburg's U-23 side and will also have regular training sessions with the club's first team of the top flight German Bundesliga.
The native of Richmond, BC, joined the Whitecaps FC Residency program in September 2009 and went on to sign a Major League Soccer (MLS) contract as the club's sixth Homegrown player on April 24, 2012.
Last year, Clarke made his MLS debut at home on August 15, 2012, against FC Dallas, coming on as a late substitute for fellow striker Kenny Miller. Clarke also made a substitute appearance against Chivas USA on .
In addition, the 6-foot-1, 165-pound striker made five appearances for the ‘Caps in the MLS Reserve League. With Whitecaps FC U-23, Clarke scored five goals in seven appearances in the United Soccer Leagues (USL) Premier Development League (PDL). Clarke also helped the club's U-18 Residency side make it to the 2012 United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) championship final, scoring 24 goals in 27 appearances over the course of the season.
Internationally, Clarke has had experience with the Canadian national team at the U-18 and U-20 level. In December of 2011, Clarke earned his first call-up to the Canadian national team program when he was one of five Whitecaps FC Residency players to be selected by former Whitecaps FC player and assistant coach Nick Dasovic to a 10-day training camp with Canada’s U-20 national team in Sunrise, Florida. In September of 2012, the striker netted both goals in a 2-0 friendly win for the U-20 team over Trinidad & Tobago's U-20 squad back in September of 2012. Most recently, Clarke scored twice against Nicaragua in the 2013 CONCACAF U-20 Championship on of this year.
This is the young Canadian’s third stint in Germany. Earlier this year he had a pair of trials: with FC Augsburg between and at Dutch club Feyernoord Rotterdam between . In 2012, two months after signing an MLS contract with the ‘Caps, he went on a two-week trial with FC Rot-Weiss Erfurt of third-tier '3.Liga' . He has also enjoyed two training spells in Italy with Udinese Calcio in August of 2008 and from April to May 2009.