The 18-year-old completes the perfect week, as he signs his first professional contract and receives his first national team call-up within the space of 48-hours.
Vancouver Whitecaps have announced the signing of youth prospect Sam Adekugbe as a Home Grown Player.
The 18-year-old was born in London, England, and grew up in Manchester, but has lived in Canada since the age of nine and recently received his residency card, and is thus eligible.
The defender has been excellent for both the Vancouver Whitecaps Residency (the club’s youth and development side) and the Canada Under-18’s, so the contract offer was widely expected from most fans.
“My dad is the one who has pushed me to become a better player than I was yesterday, and I know right now he is very happy that I have been able to become a professional soccer player,” Adekugbe told the club’s official website following his first ever training session “He has definitely been the biggest influence in my soccer career and in my life, so he is someone who I truly respect.
“It’s definitely exciting. I’ve lived in Canada for over seven years now, so to represent this country is obviously a great accomplishment.”
Adekugbe names Everton and England left-back Leighton Baines as his favourite player, and influence is evident in his playing style. He’s a tireless, versatile full-back, equally capable ruggedly defending or bombing forwards to transition defence into attack. Named as one of EA Sports’ ‘Ones to Watch’, Canada and ‘Caps fans can expect big things from Adekugbe.