Earlier today the Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 wrote another page in the history book of soccer in the City of Glass. Canadians and Whitecap academy graduates Jackson Farmer, Jordan Haynes, and Mitch Piraux were awarded USL contracts. All three have seen action with the Canadian national U-18 or U-20 team and Farmer made his senior team debut in September 2013.
Their caps for the national team is indicative of their talent. They are promising young Canadians who are in desperate need of a professional environment and 2015 will be a crucial year for their development as they need regular professional minutes to improve their skills. Playing every week in USL is another step in their careers which will help to prepare them for one day being in contention for a spot on the ‘Caps senior team or a move across the pond. Finding professional games for those who are ready to graduate from the academy, but who are not yet ready for the senior team, has been a problem which has plagued the Whitecaps. At last they have the means to prepare young talent for making the final jump to MLS under the watchful and experienced eye of Alan Koch.
I would not be surprised to see all three of these young Canadians as regular starts for the ‘Caps USL team this year but long term Jackson Farmer is the most likely to make the jump to the senior team. Farmer has the build to succeed not only in the USL but also MLS. Clocking in at 6 foot 2, Farmer can physically go toe-to-toe with most professionals in North America. If Farmer can use his time in USL to improve his anticipation and positioning then before long he could very well be in the mix for the ‘Caps senior team.
Due to the strict quota that must be filled by Canadian players we can expect the Whitecaps to add more players to their USL roster in the near future. That being said, the powers at be will likely leave some space on the roster vacant so they can move players between the senior and USL team with ease. This could mean that players like Froese and Bustos could be on the bench for the senior team on a Saturday and then take to the field for VWFC2 the following day. This flexibility is an essential piece to the future of Canadian soccer.