Photo courtesy Bob Frid / Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2
Vancouver Whitecaps FC’s Alphonso Davies had a historic 2016, becoming the youngest signing and then youngest goal-scorer in USL history with Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 before signing as a Homegrown Player with the club’s MLS squad midseason.
On Tuesday, he capped a remarkable year with another accolade, as he was named the 2016 Canadian U17 Player of the Year by the Canadian Soccer Association.
“It’s a great honour,” said Davies in a club statement. “My family came to Canada for a better life and I’m really happy that I can represent my country. I want to thank my mom, my dad, the Whitecaps FC coaches and organization, Pa-Modou Kah, Giles Barnes and the rest of my teammates. I am also thankful to my previous coach Nick Housef. Coach Housef played a big role in my life, helping me become the man that I’m trying to be. Now I just have to keep moving forward.”
Davies signed with WFC2 in preseason at the age of 15, and quickly made his mark with the side. His first professional goal arrived in May in a 4-3 victory against the LA Galaxy II, and he also featured in the Whitecaps’ CONCACAF Champions League campaign, scoring the goal that secured a berth in the tournament’s quarterfinals this spring.
Named No. 8 on the USL 20 Under 20 in mid-season, Davies also featured internationally for Canada as he competed for both the U17 and U20 National Teams, and was part of a 2-1 victory against England for the U20s. On July 15, Vancouver signed him as a Homegrown Player, and he made his MLS debut one day later against Orlando City SC. He was subsequently named as a finalist for the USL’s Rookie of the Year award as WFC2 reached the postseason for the first time.
"Alphonso Davies fully deserves the award," said Tony Fonseca, Canada Soccer's Technical Director. "At such a young age, he has already made an impact at Whitecaps FC and there is plenty of optimism about his future as he matures. His skills, work ethic and humbleness are remarkable.”
Davies is the second consecutive WFC2 player to be named the Canadian U17 Player of the Year, following the honor being awarded to Kadin Chung last year.