The Vancouver Whitecaps had added some depth to their backline with the signing of Canadian International Sam Adekugbe as a homegrown player. Born in Manchester England, Adekugbe moved to Calgary at the age of nine. The 18-year-old figures to be on the sidelines for now, however he could very well be an important piece of the puzzle down the road.
The Press Release is below:
WHITECAPS FC ADD HOMEGROWN DEFENDER SAM ADEKUGBE
VANCOUVER, BC - Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced today the signing of Residency defender and Canadian international Sam Adekugbe as a Homegrown player. Per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Whitecaps FC left back Sam Adekugbe
- Born in London, England, lived in Manchester, England, before immigrating to Calgary, Alberta, in 2004 at the age of nine
- Joined Whitecaps FC Residency program in September 2011
- Member of Canada's U-18 team that participated in the 2013 COTIF U-20 tournament in l'Alcúdia, Spain, from August 11 to 21
- Called into Canada's first senior men's national team camp under head coach Benito Floro. The camp in Valencia, Spain, will run from September 1 to 11
- Received his permanent residency card from Citizenship and Immigration Canada on August 23
- Whitecaps FC's seventh Homegrown player signing
"Sam is a fantastic young talent and someone we're all very excited to bring into the first team," said Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie. "We've watched him closely over the past few years as he developed with our Residency program and we're very confident that he has a bright future ahead."
Adekugbe, 18, becomes the first Homegrown defender to join Vancouver's MLS roster following two successful seasons with the Whitecaps FC Residency program. The young left back started 55 of his 57 appearances with the club's U-16s and U-18s team. During that period, he scored three goals and made back-to-back trips to the United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) Finals Week with the U-18 side. In addition to being on the club's MLS roster, Adekugbe will continue to be a member of the club's U-18 side for the 2013-14 USSDA season.
In addition to his time in the Residency program, Adekugbe has also enjoyed multiple training spells with the first team over the past two years. After making his MLS Reserve League debut as a 17-year-old in March 2012, the 5-foot-9, 165-pound defender started seven of his eight appearances with Whitecaps FC Reserves this season, contributing offensively with a goal and an assist in Vancouver's 4-0 win over Seattle Sounders FC Reserves on July 7. Adekugbe also attended the 'Caps 2013 MLS preseason camp in Charleston, South Carolina.
"This is truly a dream come true for me," said Adekugbe. "I couldn't be happier to sign my first MLS contract in Vancouver. Spending the last few years with the Residency program has been great for my development, and I look forward to taking the next steps in my career with Whitecaps FC."
Born in London, England, Adekugbe immigrated to Calgary with his family in 2004, at the age of nine, and recently received his permanent residence from Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
Internationally, Adekugbe was a member of Canada's men's U-18 national team at the recent 2013 COTIF U-20 tournament in l'Alcúdia, Spain. The promising young fullback was one of seven Whitecaps FC Residency players on the Canadian squad, which finished in fourth place. Adekugbe is also set to attend the senior national team camp in Valencia, Spain, from September 1 to 11.
Adekugbe becomes Whitecaps FC's seventh all-time Homegrown player signing, joining midfielders Russell Teibert and Bryce Alderson, as well as striker Caleb Clarke on the club's current MLS roster.