Vancouver Whitecaps FC

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Vancouver Whitecaps
Nickname(s)Blue-and-White[1]
The Village[2]
Short nameCaps
FoundedMarch 18, 2009; 14 years ago (2009-03-18)[3][nb 1]
StadiumBC Place, Vancouver[nb 2]
Capacity22,120[5][nb 3]
Owners
ChairmanJeff Mallett
Sporting directorAxel Schuster
CoachVanni Sartini
LeagueMajor League Soccer
2023Western Conference: 6th
Overall: 13th
Playoffs: Round One
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Vancouver Whitecaps Football Club is a Canadian professional soccer club based in Vancouver. They compete in Major League Soccer (MLS) as a member club of the league's Western Conference. The MLS iteration of the club was established on March 18, 2009, and began play in 2011 as the 17th team to enter Major League Soccer while replacing the USSF Division 2 team of the same name in the city, making them a phoenix club and the third to carry the Whitecaps name. The club has been owned and managed by the same group since their USSF days.

In the 2012 season, the team became the first Canadian team to qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs. The Whitecaps have won three Canadian Championships, in 2015, 2022 and 2023. Vancouver also competes against longtime Pacific Northwest rivals Seattle and Portland in the Cascadia Cup, a fan-created trophy awarded based on MLS regular season results. Notable former Whitecaps players include former American international Jay DeMerit, the club's first player and captain; Camilo Sanvezzo, the 2013 MLS Golden Boot winner; and current Canadian international Alphonso Davies, a homegrown player.

History[edit]

An ownership group in Vancouver were granted the seventeenth Major League Soccer franchise on March 18, 2009, by MLS Commissioner Don Garber.[6] While no name was provided at the Vancouver announcement, over a year later the club confirmed it would keep the Whitecaps name.[7][8][9][10] The team sold the first 5,000 season ticket deposits 48 hours after they became available to the public. Remaining season tickets were made available to season ticket holders for the USSF 2 Whitecaps before becoming available to non-season ticket holders.[11]

In preparation for its first MLS season, the Whitecaps brought in executive talent from around the world. On November 24, 2009, Paul Barber, former Tottenham Hotspur F.C. executive, was announced to join the club as CEO. Others joining him included former D.C. United head coach Tom Soehn as Director of Operations and Dutch national Richard Grootscholten as the Technical Director and head coach of the residency program.[citation needed]

As the head coach of the USL and later USSF Division 2 Vancouver Whitecaps, former Iceland international Teitur Thordarson was confirmed as head coach on September 2, 2010, for the inaugural MLS season.[12] He was subsequently relieved of his duties on May 30, 2011, after the Whitecaps won just one of their first twelve matches. Tom Soehn, the Whitecaps director of soccer operations, replaced Thordarson on an interim basis.[13]

The Whitecaps began play in the 2011 MLS season with their first match on March 19, 2011, against rival Canadians Toronto FC, which they won 4–2. The first goal in the Whitecaps' MLS era was scored by Eric Hassli.[14] After their winning start the Whitecaps struggled, and failed to secure another victory in their next 11 MLS games, drawing six and losing five. In the aftermath of their 1–1 draw with the New York Red Bulls on May 30 head coach Teitur Thordarson was fired.[15] Tom Soehn took over coaching duties for the remainder of the 2011 season, while Martin Rennie was announced as the new permanent head coach on August 9, taking over officially on November 2.[16] The team managed to attract 15,500 season ticket holders in its first MLS season and 13,000 for the second.[17]

On March 3, 2012, the Whitecaps won their first minor, pre-season cup at the 2012 Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic defeating Toronto FC 1–0 thanks to a goal by Camilo Sanvezzo. The Whitecaps finished the regular season with 11 wins, 3 losses, and 10 ties positioning the club, fifth in the Western Conference and 11th on the league overall table. On October 21, 2012, the Whitecaps became the first Canadian team to earn a spot in the MLS playoffs.[18] Vancouver were eliminated in the knockout round.

In the 2013 season, Vancouver finished in seventh in the Western Conference, 13th in the league table with 13 wins, 12 losses, and 9 ties in the regular season. They were not able to qualify for the post season, in the playoffs as they had accomplished in the season prior. Two days after the end of the 2013 MLS regular season, Rennie's contract was not renewed sparking a search for the next head coach.[19] In their off-season, the Whitecaps were in the midst of controversy with one of their then players, Camilo, who had played for the team since their inaugural campaign, after the Brazilian went on to join Liga MX club Querétaro. The Mexican club believed that he was no longer under contract, while the Whitecaps reported that he was still on a contract with Vancouver.[20] The scandal was resolved with the Liga MX club paying a transfer fee from Vancouver to acquire the Brazilian forward.[21]

In October 2014, the Whitecaps qualified for the 2015–16 CONCACAF Champions League for the very first time as a result of becoming the highest ranked Canadian team in the 2014 MLS season and due to a reformatting of the Canadian Championship in the following season. A week later they qualified for the MLS playoffs for the second time, an achievement unmatched by any Canadian team.[22]

In 2015, the Whitecaps would go on to have their best-ever regular season, finishing the season with 53 points. They also went on to win the Canadian Championship for the first time, defeating Montreal 2-0 in the second leg to win the final 4-2 on aggregate. In the 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs and 2014-15 CONCACAF Champions League, however, they did not achieve the same success, getting eliminated in the group stage of the CONCACAF Champions League and the conference semi-final of the playoffs.

2016 saw the Whitecaps take a step back, finishing the regular season with 39 points. In the 2016 Canadian Championship, they reached the final, but lost 2-2 on away goals to Toronto FC. They did go on to win the Cascadia Cup on the final day of the regular season, beating the Portland Timbers 4-1.

2017 saw major improvement for the Whitecaps, as they made the CONCACAF Champions League semi-finals for the first time, but were eliminated by Tigres UANL. They finished the regular season with 52 points, making the playoffs for the fourth time in their history. However, despite recording their first-ever playoff win against the San Jose Earthquakes in the knockout round, they were eliminated by Seattle Sounders FC in the conference semi-final.

In 2018, the Whitecaps would record the fourth-worst defensive record of the season, conceding 67 goals. As a result of poor form in the regular season, coach Carl Robinson was relieved of his duties on September 25, 2018. He was replaced by interim Craig Dalrymple for the remainder of the regular season. The Whitecaps finished the season with 47 points and would miss the playoffs for the second time in three seasons.

2019 saw a new-look squad for the Whitecaps, as key players like Alphonso Davies, Kendall Waston, Kei Kamara, and Cristian Techera had all departed following the 2018 season. The team would also appoint a new manager prior to the season, naming Marc Dos Santos to take the club forward. However, they would once again go on to miss the playoffs, finishing the season last place in the Western Conference. They were also eliminated by Cavalry FC in the 2019 Canadian Championship, becoming the first MLS team to get eliminated by a Canadian Premier League side in Canadian Championship history.

2020 was the club's 10th season in Major League Soccer. However, on March 12, 2020, after only two games played, Major League Soccer suspended their season as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Whitecaps' season resumed on July 15, 2020, when they played the San Jose Earthquakes in their first match of the MLS is Back Tournament. Despite losses to the San Jose Earthquakes and Seattle Sounders FC, a 2-0 win against the Chicago Fire was enough for the team to qualify to the round of 16. However, the Whitecaps would ultimately lose to Sporting Kansas City 3-1 on penalties after a scoreless 120 minutes. From August 18 to September 16, 2020, the Whitecaps would play six matches against fellow Canadian MLS teams Toronto FC and Montreal Impact, that would serve as both regular season matches as well as qualifiers for the 2020 Canadian Championship. The Whitecaps would not qualify for the Canadian Championship, finishing at the bottom of the qualification table with only 6 points from 6 games. From September 19, 2020 until the end of the season, the Whitecaps would play the rest of their home matches at Providence Park in Portland, Oregon. They would finish the season with 27 points from 23 matches played, missing the playoffs for the third season in a row.

2021 saw much greater success for the Whitecaps. The season did not start off well initially, with head coach Marc Dos Santos being relieved of his duties on August 27, 2021 as a result of his team sitting below the playoff line after 20 games, as well as once again getting eliminated by Pacific FC in the 2021 Canadian Championship. However, under interim head coach Vanni Sartini, the team would go unbeaten in 12 of their last 14 games to finish the season, making the playoffs for the first time in four years. In the playoffs, the Whitecaps were eliminated in the first round by Sporting Kansas City, losing by a scoreline of 3-1. On November 30, 2021, Vanni Sartini was named as the club's new head coach.

In 2022, the Whitecaps would go on to have mixed success. They missed the playoffs for the fourth time in five years, finishing the season with 43 points. However, they won the 2022 Canadian Championship, beating Toronto FC 5-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw following regulation and extra time. It was the first time that the Whitecaps won the Canadian Championship since their first victory in 2015. The Canadian Championship victory also meant that the Whitecaps would qualify for the 2023 CONCACAF Champions League.

In the 2023 CONCACAF Champions League, the Whitecaps defeated Real C.D. España to advance to the quarterfinals, but were ultimately eliminated by Los Angeles FC. In the regular season, the team would finish with 48 points, qualifying for the playoffs. They were once again eliminated by Los Angeles FC. In 2023 Leagues Cup, their inaugural appearance in the competition, the Whitecaps advanced to the Round of 32, but were eliminated by Tigres UANL. For the second consecutive season, the Whitecaps won the Canadian Championship for the third time, beating CF Montréal 2-1 in the final. As a result, they qualified for the 2024 CONCACAF Champions Cup.

The 2024 CONCACAF Champions Cup saw the Whitecaps face Tigres UANL, a team that the Whitecaps previously lost to 4-1 on aggregate in the 2016-17 edition. The Whitecaps would once again get eliminated by the Liga MX side, by the same 4-1 aggregate scoreline.

Colours and badge[edit]

On June 8, 2010, it was officially announced the club would continue using the "Whitecaps" name, but with a redesigned logo.[23] The name alludes to the geographic features surrounding the city: snow-capped mountains to the north and the Pacific Ocean's white-capped waves to the west.

The official club colours include navy blue ("deep sea"), white, and light blue ("Whitecaps blue").[24] The "deep sea" blue represents the maritime landscape of the Vancouver area and the "Whitecaps blue" indicates the reflection of the North Shore Mountains in the Pacific Ocean. The lighter shade of blue also alludes to the primary colour of the original Whitecaps, winners of Soccer Bowl 1979. The silver outline pays homage to the team's championship victories since 1974.[25]

On June 10, 2010, the Whitecaps strip package was unveiled with Bell Canada serving as the inaugural jersey sponsor.[26][27] The home shirt is white with horizontal, navy blue pinstripes; the stripes broaden slightly from bottom to top. The secondary shirt is deep blue with an embossed, interlocking diamond pattern which is also deep blue and is reflective in the light.

On June 14, 2012, the Whitecaps unveiled a third kit. The third kit is predominantly "arbutus brown", with sky blue accents, which reflects the unique land full of deep roots and the high-reaching arms of the temperate rainforests of British Columbia.[28]

In 2019 they used a redesigned version of their 1979 kit as a 40th anniversary tribute to the team winning the 1979 NASL Soccer Bowl.[29][30]

Kit history[edit]

Home, away, and third kits.

  • Home
2011–12
2013–14
2015–16
2017–18
2019–20
2021–22
2023–
  • Away
2011–13
2014–15
2016–17
2018–19
2020–21
2022–
  • Third
2012–2013

Sponsorship[edit]

Period Kit manufacturer Shirt sponsor
2011–2022 Adidas Bell
2023–present Telus

Stadium[edit]

White sheets are used to artificially reduce the capacity of BC Place for Whitecaps FC matches.

The Whitecaps plays its home matches at BC Place in Vancouver, which it shares with the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League.[31][32] The 54,500-seat multi-purpose domed opened in 1983 and was designed for both Canadian football and soccer. It underwent a major renovation between 2009 and 2011 to replace the roof with the world's largest cable-supported retractable roof;[33] the renovation also included the installation of white sails (known as the "secondary roof") to close off the upper bowl and reduce capacity to around 22,120 for most Whitecaps matches.[34][35] BC Place's surface is polytan artificial turf, which is certified by FIFA with a 2-star rating.[33][36] Club ownership initially hoped to build Whitecaps Waterfront Stadium in Gastown in time for the 2016 season, but the club has committed to BC Place in light of stadium opposition.[31]

The National Soccer Development Centre on the grounds of the University of British Columbia

The club played most of its inaugural season at Empire Field, a temporary stadium built at the former site of Empire Stadium to house the Whitecaps and the BC Lions while BC Place was being renovated.[37] Empire Field was a 27,500-seat multi-purpose stadium that featured FIFA 1-star rated FieldTurf.[37] The team played its final match at Empire Field on September 24, 2011, a 3–1 loss to Seattle Sounders FC.[38] The following week, the Whitecaps played their first match at BC Place, a 1–0 loss to Portland Timbers on October 2, 2011.[39]

The club initially did not have a permanent training centre, opting instead to use facilities around Greater Vancouver.[40] The Whitecaps partnered with the Government of British Columbia and the University of British Columbia (UBC) to build the $32.5 million National Soccer Development Centre on the UBC campus,[40] which opened on September 22, 2017.[41]

Near the end of the 2020 and at the beginning of the 2021 seasons, the club was forced to play their home matches in the United States due to the Canadian government's response to limit cross-border travel during the COVID-19 pandemic. The club shared facilities with Portland Timbers Providence Park in Portland, Oregon where they played one of their rivalry matches as the home team.[42] In 2021, the club played most of their home matches at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah since the start of the season.[4]

Club culture[edit]

Supporters[edit]

Whitecaps supporters celebrating 4–2 victory over Toronto FC at Empire Field during inaugural MLS match.

The largest Whitecaps supporters group is known as the Southsiders. The group began in 1999 when fans of the Vancouver 86ers began congregating in the pitch-level beer garden behind the goal at the south end of Swangard Stadium.[43][44]

The Southsiders' relationship with the team's ownership has not always been amicable, but improved since the announcement of an MLS expansion team.[43] Images of the Southsiders are featured prominently in Whitecaps' marketing campaigns and the group's board was invited to the invite-only launch of the kits and logo to be used in MLS.[45][46] The expansion has also increased membership to over 1200 and 100 paid members by July 2010.[47][48] Southsider supporters were primarily located in the southeast corner (sections 249–254) of BC Place stadium; the majority of the group later relocated to the new general admission section at BC Place in half of section 253 and all of section 254 that was introduced for the 2020 MLS season.[citation needed]

The three biggest supporter groups are the Vancouver Southhsiders, Curva Collective and the Rain City Brigade.[49] There are several sub-groups that have emerged, members of which are sometimes also members of the three larger groups. Founded after the 2011 season, Curva Collective focuses on visual displays and was previously located in the southwest "curve" in sections 203 and 204 at BC Place.[50][51] Rain City Brigade was established in 2010, occupying part of Section 201 and marching on matchdays from Library Square.[52][better source needed]

The Whitecaps are also home to North America's first ever all youth supporter group, Vancouver Albion. They stand in section 254, and have become one the 'Caps biggest groups with over 100 members. The Prawnsiders have existed since the Whitecaps' Swangard years, but organized formally at the beginning of the inaugural MLS season in 2011.[53] The name "Prawnsiders" comes from "prawn-sandwich brigade", a term often used to describe soccer supporters who sit in the more expensive seats.[53] They are primarily located in sections 244 and 245.[53] South Sisters provide a positive meeting space for Vancouver Whitecaps supporters who identify as female, LGBTQ2+, or allies. The group was officially formed in 2019.[54] Couch Ultras, named for their origins as a home-based group, organizes tifo displays at BC Place for the Whitecaps and Canadian national teams.[55][56]

In 2020, a new general admissions supporters section (named the Village Stand) was introduced in half of Section 253 and all of Section 254, adjacent to the tunnel where the players enter the pitch.[57] Membership in a supporters group is not required and seating is unassigned. The majority of the Vancouver Southsiders and Curva Collective are located here. Standing and chanting are permitted throughout the match in this' section.[57]

Mascot[edit]

The official mascot for the Whitecaps is Spike, a Belted kingfisher, a bird common to the Vancouver area.[58]

Rivalries[edit]

Cascadia Cup[edit]

The Vancouver Whitecaps have longstanding rivalries with both the Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders FC. The rivalries predate MLS and have been an integral part of the soccer culture in the Pacific Northwest. Matches between these three teams are arguably the most passionate in all of MLS as each of these teams are well-supported by their respective cities.[59][60]

Portland Timbers

The Portland Timbers are one of the Whitecaps' biggest and longtime rivals, with an antagonistic history between the clubs going back to 1975 in the original North American Soccer League.[61] In the A-League and USL First Division Portland and Vancouver clashed in crucial, and often physical matches during the late 2000s, with the clubs facing each other in memorable playoff duels in 2007, 2009, and 2010.[62] The two clubs played for the 100th time in 2017, and the rivalry is one of the most-played in US soccer history.

Seattle Sounders

Canadian rivalries[edit]

The Vancouver Whitecaps also have rivalries with Toronto FC and the CF Montreal. Vancouver's first game in MLS was against Toronto in an attempt by the league to spur a rivalry between the two Canadian teams.[63] Montreal was a rival in the second division. The three teams have played each other during Voyageurs Cup competitions.[64][65]

Broadcasting[edit]

All Whitecaps matches are broadcast on television and radio. Through the 2013 season, Sportsnet Pacific and Sportsnet One nationally broadcast all "regional" Whitecaps games not televised by TSN or TSN2 as part of its national package of MLS games, broadcasting 24 games per season.[66] Regional matches were called by Craig MacEwen, who does play-by-play, and former Vancouver 86ers goalkeeper Paul Dolan, who provides colour commentary.[67] Dolan replaced former Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Martin Nash, who provided colour commentary during the Whitecaps FC inaugural season.[68][69][70] In January 2014, TSN (which is owned by Bell Media, a subsidiary of the Whitecaps' founding sponsor Bell Canada) announced that it would take over broadcast rights to these "regional" Whitecaps games beginning in the 2014 Major League Soccer season. In 2014, selected games aired on CIVT-DT and CIVI-DT due to scheduling conflicts.[71][72] As of 2021, TSN streams all 34 regular season games, with playoff games if qualified. The current broadcasting team features Blake Price doing play-by-play, and Dolan as colour commentator, after Peter Schaad was relieved of his play-by-play duty in April 2021.[73][74] Since 2023, the only regional broadcast is CKGO-AM, as TSN will only carry selected Whitecaps matches due to the new worldwide MLS broadcast deal with Apple TV.

On radio, Whitecaps games are primarily broadcast on AM 730 with Asa Rehman [75] and Colin Miller.[76] Until the end of the 2016 season, matches broadcast on radio has play-by-play duties shared between Schaad and Scott Rintoul, and by former Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder David Norman, who provides colour commentary.[77][78][79][80] Norman replaced Paul Dolan prior to the 2012 MLS season, after Dolan joined the Sportsnet broadcasting team.[81][78]

Ownership[edit]

Vancouver Whitecaps FC is owned by a group of four investors: Greg Kerfoot, Steve Luczo, Jeff Mallett, and Steve Nash.[82] The group has a collective net worth over $2 billion.[83] Kerfoot has been the majority owner of the Whitecaps since 2002, when he saved the club from contraction after previous owner David Stadnyk left the club, selling it to United Soccer Leagues.[82][83][84] Mallett, a former chief operating officer (COO) of Yahoo!, who was raised in Victoria, British Columbia, and played for several collegiate soccer teams.[82] He later purchased minority stakes in the San Francisco Giants of Major League Baseball and English soccer club Derby County F.C.[82] Having first met at a charity soccer event in 2005, Mallett partnered with Steve Nash—a two-time National Basketball Association (NBA) Most Valuable Player who was also raised in Victoria—to put together a bid for a minority share of English soccer club Tottenham Hotspur F.C. in 2008.[82] After that transaction fell through, the duo contacted Kerfoot about a minority stake in the club.[82] Nash is the older brother of former Whitecaps midfielder Martin Nash.[84] The fourth partner, Steve Luczo, is the president, chairman, and CEO of Seagate Technology and a partner in Boston Basketball Partners L.L.C., a group who own the NBA Boston Celtics.[82] Luczo met Kerfoot while the two were both employed by Seagate Technology, and Kerfoot contacted Luczo proposing he become part of the club's MLS bid.[85] In 2009, the group paid a $35 million expansion fee to MLS for the right to join the league.[82] As of 2023, the club is valued at $410 million by Forbes.[86]

Current players and staff[edit]

For details on former players, see All-time Vancouver Whitecaps FC roster.

Roster[edit]

As of February 24, 2024[87]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK Japan JPN Yohei Takaoka
2 DF Uruguay URU Mathías Laborda
3 DF Canada CAN Sam Adekugbe
4 DF Serbia SRB Ranko Veselinović (vice-captain)
6 DF United States USA Tristan Blackmon
8 MF Austria AUT Alessandro Schöpf
11 FW Haiti HAI Fafà Picault
12 DF Syria SYR Belal Halbouni
14 DF Portugal POR Luís Martins
15 DF Norway NOR Bjørn Inge Utvik
16 MF United States USA Sebastian Berhalter
17 GK United States USA Joe Bendik
No. Pos. Nation Player
19 MF Croatia CRO Damir Kreilach
20 MF Paraguay PAR Andrés Cubas (DP)
22 DF Canada CAN Ali Ahmed (HG)
23 DF Jamaica JAM Javain Brown
24 FW United States USA Brian White
25 MF Scotland SCO Ryan Gauld (captain; DP)
26 MF Cameroon CMR J.C. Ngando
27 MF Canada CAN Ryan Raposo
28 FW Canada CAN Levonte Johnson
32 GK Canada CAN Isaac Boehmer (HG)
45 MF Ecuador ECU Pedro Vite
50 GK Canada CAN Max Anchor (HG)

Out on loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
FW Colombia COL Déiber Caicedo (at Atlético Junior)

Technical staff[edit]

As of September 2, 2023
Role Name Nation
Head coach Vanni Sartini  Italy
Assistant coach Brendan Shaw  Ireland
Assistant coach Michael D'Agostino  Canada
Goalkeeper coach Youssef Dahha  Morocco
First team video analyst Drew Foster  Canada
First team assistant video analyst James Grieve  Scotland
Team Physician Dr. Jim Bovard  Canada

Executive Leadership[edit]

Role Name Nation
Chief Executive Officer & Sporting Director Axel Schuster  Germany
General Counsel Manav Deol  Canada
Chief Commercial Officer Aditi Bhatt  United States
Vice President, Finance Lisa Abbate  Canada
Senior Director, Player Personnel Quinn Thompson  Canada

Former players and staff[edit]

Head coaches[edit]

Years Name Nation
September 1, 2010 – May 30, 2011 Teitur Thordarson  Iceland
May 30, 2011 – October 25, 2011 Tom Soehn (interim)  United States
October 26, 2011 – October 29, 2013 Martin Rennie[88]  Scotland
December 16, 2013 – September 25, 2018 Carl Robinson  Wales
September 25, 2018 – November 7, 2018 Craig Dalrymple (interim)  England
November 7, 2018 – August 27, 2021 Marc Dos Santos  Canada
August 27, 2021 – November 30, 2021 Vanni Sartini (interim)  Italy
November 30, 2021 – present Vanni Sartini  Italy

Club captains[edit]

Years Name Nation
2011–2014 Jay DeMerit  United States
2014–2016 Pedro Morales  Chile
2016–2017 David Ousted  Denmark
2017–2018 Kendall Waston  Costa Rica
2019 Jon Erice  Spain
2020–2023 Russell Teibert  Canada
2024– Ryan Gauld  Scotland

Affiliated teams[edit]

Whitecaps FC 2[edit]

Whitecaps FC 2 was the farm club of the Vancouver Whitecaps that was established on November 21, 2014. Whitecaps FC 2 began competing in the 2015 season, in the USL.[89] On November 27, 2017, the Whitecaps dissolved their reserve side in favour of affiliating with 2018 expansion club Fresno FC.[90] A new reserve team, also named Whitecaps FC 2, joined the newly established MLS Next Pro league in 2022.[91]

Whitecaps Women[edit]

The Whitecaps organization owned and operated a women's team in the USL W-League from 2001 to 2012 that played at Swangard Stadium.[92] Originally named the Vancouver Breakers, the club was renamed the Whitecaps in 2003 under the ownership of Greg Kerfoot.[93][94] The team won the W-League championship twice (in 2004 and 2006) and finished as runners-up in 2010.[92] In its place, the Whitecaps launched an EXCEL youth development program for girls in partnership with B.C. Soccer and Canada Soccer.[95]

In 2019, several former Whitecaps Women players published allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct from coaches at the club.[96] The claims centered around behaviour by head coach Bob Birarda, who was fired in 2008 after an internal investigation, and Hubert Busby Jr., who coached the team from 2011 to 2012.[97] Several supporters groups for the men's team organized protests and walk-outs during matches in April and May 2019 in support of an independent investigation into the allegations.[98][99] At one protest in May, they were joined by visiting Portland Timbers fans.[100]

In late 2021, MLS announced an independent investigation and review into the conduct of both coaches as well as the Whitecaps organization.[97][101] The investigation found that the Whitecaps' response "was appropriate" and "adhered to all of the [internal] investigator's recommendations".[101][102] A parallel investigation into Canada Soccer's actions found that the allegations of Birarda's behaviour with the under-20 team were "mishandled" by CSA.[103]

Whitecaps FC Academy[edit]

Whitecaps FC Academy, formerly known as the Whitecaps Residency program,[104] is the youth academy and development system of Vancouver Whitecaps FC that was established in 2007. The academy fields men's and women's teams in League1 British Columbia, which commenced in 2022.[105][106]

Honours[edit]

Major[edit]

Minor[edit]

Team records[edit]

Year-by-year[edit]

This is a partial list of the last five seasons completed by the Whitecaps. For the full season-by-season history, see List of Vancouver Whitecaps FC seasons. For a historical list encompassing results from the previous two incarnations of the club, see History of Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

Season League Position Playoffs CC Continental Other Average attendance Top goalscorer(s)
Div League Pld W L D GF GA GD Pts PPG Conf. Overall CCL LC Name(s) Goals
2019 1 MLS 34 8 16 10 37 59 –22 34 1.00 12th 23rd DNQ R3 DNQ DNE DNE/DNQ 19,514 Colombia Fredy Montero 8
2020 MLS 23 9 14 0 27 44 –17 27 1.17 9th 17th DNQ NH MLS is Back Tournament Ro16 22,120[a] Canada Lucas Cavallini 6
2021 MLS 34 12 9 13 45 45 0 49 1.44 6th 12th R1 R1 DNQ DNE/DNQ 12,492[b] Colombia Cristian Dájome
United States Brian White
12
2022 MLS 34 12 15 7 40 57 -17 43 1.26 9th 17th DNQ W DNE 18,643 Canada Lucas Cavallini 9
2023 MLS 34 12 10 12 55 48 +7 48 1.41 6th 13th R1 W QF Ro32 16,745 United States Brian White 19

^ 1. Avg. attendance include statistics from league matches only.
^ 2. Top goalscorer(s) includes all goals scored in League, MLS Cup Playoffs, Canadian Championship, MLS is Back Tournament, CONCACAF Champions League, FIFA Club World Cup, and other competitive continental matches.

  1. ^ Does not include home matches played behind closed doors.
  2. ^ Does not include home matches played in American stadiums.

International tournaments[edit]

CONCACAF Champions Cup[edit]

Vancouver has qualified for the CONCACAF Champions Cup four times, the first in the 2015–16 edition of the tournament.

Scores and results list Vancouver's goal tally first
Season Round Opponent Home Away Aggregate
2015–16 Group stage United States Seattle Sounders FC 1–1 0–3 3rd[n 1]
Honduras Olimpia 1–0 0–1
2016–17 Group stage Trinidad and Tobago Central F.C. 4–1 1–0 1st[n 1]
United States Sporting Kansas City 3–0 2–1
Quarterfinals United States New York Red Bulls 2–0 1–1 3–1
Semifinals Mexico UANL 1–2 0–2 1–4
2023 Round of 16 Honduras Real España 5–0 2–3 7–3
Quarter-finals United States Los Angeles FC 0–3 0–3 0–6
2024 Round one Mexico UANL 1–1 0–3 1–4

Other competitions[edit]

Group stage v. England Manchester City – 1–2


Player records and awards[edit]

Golden Boot[edit]

Top scorer by season
Year Player Goals
2011 Brazil Camilo 12
2012 Jamaica Darren Mattocks 7
2013 Brazil Camilo 22
2014 Chile Pedro Morales 10
2015 Uruguay Octavio Rivero 10
2016 Chile Pedro Morales 9
2017 Colombia Fredy Montero 13
2018 Sierra Leone Kei Kamara 14
2019 Colombia Fredy Montero 8
2020 Canada Lucas Cavallini 6
2021 United States Brian White 12
2022 Canada Lucas Cavallini 9
2023 United States Brian White 15

Note: Only MLS regular season goals counted

Most appearances[edit]

Rank Pos. Player Nation Career MLS Playoffs CC CCL LC Total
1 Midfielder Russell Teibert  Canada 2011–23 254 2 32 10 2 300
2 Defender Jordan Harvey  United States 2011–17 179 4 12 4 - 199
3 Defender Jake Nerwinski  United States 2017–23 140 4 11 2 - 157
4 Midfielder Gershon Koffie  Ghana 2011–15 133 4 13 1 - 151
Goalkeeper David Ousted  Denmark 2013–17 142 3 2 4 - 151
6 Defender Kendall Waston  Costa Rica 2014–18 115 6 8 8 - 137
7 Midfielder Matías Laba  Argentina 2014–17 113 3 6 7 - 129
8 Forward Erik Hurtado  United States 2013–18 105 1 12 5 - 123
9 Midfielder Nicolás Mezquida  Uruguay 2014–18 101 3 12 6 - 122
10 Midfielder Cristian Techera  Uruguay 2015–18 101 5 8 6 - 120
As of January 6, 2024[citation needed]
CC = Canadian Championship; CCL = CONCACAF Champions League
Bolded players are currently on the Whitecaps FC roster.

Top goalscorers[edit]

Rank Pos. Player Nation Career MLS Playoffs CC CCL LC Total
1 Forward Camilo  Brazil 2011–13 39 4 - 43
2 Forward Brian White  United States 2021– 29 0 4 2 1 36
3 Midfielder Pedro Morales  Chile 2014–16 25 0 4 0 - 29
Midfielder Cristian Techera  Uruguay 2015–18 23 1 0 5 - 29
5 Forward Fredy Montero  Colombia 2017, 2019–20 26 1 0 1 - 28
6 Midfielder Ryan Gauld  Scotland 2021– 23 0 3 0 0 26
7 Forward Kekuta Manneh  Gambia 2013–17 22 0 1 1 - 24
8 Forward Darren Mattocks  Jamaica 2012–15 19 1 2 0 22
9 Forward Yordy Reyna  Peru 2017–20 20 0 1 - 21
10 Forward Lucas Cavallini  Canada 2020–2022 18 0 0 - 18
As of January 6, 2024[citation needed]
CC = Canadian Championship; CCL = CONCACAF Champions League
Bolded players are currently on the Whitecaps FC roster.

Other records[edit]

As of September 15, 2023, MLS regular season only

Player of the year[edit]

Year Name Nation
2011 Camilo  Brazil
2012 Lee Young-Pyo  South Korea
2013 Camilo  Brazil
2014 Pedro Morales  Chile
2015 Kendall Waston  Costa Rica
2016 Jordan Harvey  United States
2017 Kendall Waston  Costa Rica
2018 Alphonso Davies  Canada
2019 Maxime Crépeau  Canada
2020 Ali Adnan  Iraq
2021 Maxime Crépeau  Canada
2022 Ryan Gauld  Scotland
2023 Ryan Gauld  Scotland

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ MLS franchise granted in 2009. Original team founded in 1974.
  2. ^ As a result of COVID-19 cross-border restrictions imposed by the Canadian government, Vancouver Whitecaps FC temporary played home matches at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah at the start of the 2021 season[4]
  3. ^ Expandable to 54,313 based on configuration.
  1. ^ a b Final position in group.

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External links[edit]