Transfer Tracker

Vancouver Whitecaps transfer Sam Adekugbe to Norwegian side Valerenga

Sam Adekugbe - Vancouver Whitecaps - On the ball


Canadian international Sam Adekugbe has transferred from the Vancouver Whitecaps to Norwegian side Valerenga, the Whitecaps announced on Monday.

The English-born, Calgary-raised fullback signed a Homegrown contract with the Whitecaps in 2013 and made 16 MLS appearances for Vancouver over the ensuing four seasons, large chunks of which were spent out on loan.

Adekugbe spent part of 2016 on loan with English side Brighton & Hove Albion and spent the second half of last year at Sweden's IFK Goteborg in addition to stints with Whitecaps FC 2, Vancouver’s USL side.

"We are thankful to Sam for his contributions to the club," Whitecaps coach Carl Robinson said in a statement. "This is a good opportunity for Sam and we wish him all the best as he continues his career with Valerenga."

Internationally, the 22-year-old has six caps for the Canada national team.

The former home of Canadian goalkeeper Lars Hirschfeld and Whitecaps defender turned assistant coach Pa Modou Kah, Valerenga finished in eighth place in Norway’s top flight last year. The 2018 campaign begins in early March, about one week after the MLS season kicks off.

"We get a player we've both been following for a long time and got very good references from several teams. It's a fullback that has many of the qualities we have defined as important in our role and our way of thinking [about] football,” said Valerenga’s Lars Tjærnås in a club release.

“He is physically very solid, with great speed and duel power among the properties. … As a human being, he is described by everyone who has worked with him as a highly motivated young man with a hunger for learning, and willing to work hard to achieve his goals. There was tough competition for the player and we are very happy that his choice eventually fell on us.”

Adekugbe will encounter at least one familiar face at Valerenga: Former Portland Timbers goalkeeper Adam Larsen Kwarasey is currently on the roster.