Whitecaps loan Sam Adekugbe to English side Brighton & Hove Albion

Sam Adekugbe - Vancouver Whitecaps - On the ball

Vancouver Whitecaps announced Friday they have loaned left back Sam Adekugbe to English Championship side Brighton & Hove Albion FC. The loan period is for one year, through June 2017, pending receipt of his international transfer certificate.

"We continue to look for ways for our young players to develop and this will be a great opportunity for Sam," said Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson in a team statement. "We'll be tracking his progress closely while on loan as he remains an important member of our club."

Adekugbe, 21, has four appearances for Vancouver in 2016, two in MLS and two in the Amway Canadian Championship. He also started four USL matches for Whitecaps FC 2.

The Calgary native joined Vancouver's residency program in 2011 and signed with the first team as a Homegrown Player in 2013. Born in London, England, he has spent three offseasons training in Great Britain, most recently with Brighton in December 2015. He has made 25 first-team appearances across all competitions for Vancouver (18 starts) and has three senior-team appearances for Canada.

Brighton, the same club Portland Timbers defender Liam Ridgewell has gone on offseason loan to the past two years, finished third in the Championship last season and lost in the semifinals of the playoffs for promotion to the Premier League. Brighton & Hove Albion's season begins August 6.