The Vancouver Whitecaps announced Wednesday they have signed residency program defender Sam Adekugbe to a Homegrown contract, making him the seventh such signing in franchise history.
Per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Born in London, Adekugbe immigrated to Calgary, Alberta in 2004 at the age of nine. He joined the Whitecaps residency program in September 2011, and was part of Canada’s U-18 team that participated in the 2013 COTIF U-20 tournament in l’Alcúdia, Spain, from August 11 to 21.
He has also been called into Canada’s first senior men’s national team camp under head coach Benito Floro in Valencia, Spain next month.
“Sam is a fantastic young talent and someone we’re all very excited to bring into the first team,” Whitecap head coach Martin Rennie said in a statement. “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.
“This is truly a dream come true for me,” Adekugbe said in a statement. “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.”