VANCOUVER, BC – Canada Soccer announced on Tuesday that Vancouver Whitecaps FC youngster Alphonso Davies has been named the 2016 Canadian U-17 Player of the Year.
Davies, who turned 16 last month, was selected by Canadian national team and club coaches after a year in which he signed his first professional contract, debuted in Major League Soccer, and scored the goal that sent Vancouver to the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals.
“It’s a great honour,” said Davies, a Liberia native who immigrated to Edmonton at a young age. “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.”
After starting the season with WFC2 in the United Soccer League, Davies made 15 appearances with the first-team across all competitions, becoming the youngest player to appear in an official Whitecaps FC first-team match and the Canadian Championship. Davies, the 2016 Whitecaps FC Most Promising Player, was also the second youngest player to start in MLS.
Internationally, Davies played three matches for Canada in 2016. In March, he helped Canada win 2-1 away over England as part of the men’s national U-20 ream; in November, he won back-to-back away matches over Jamaica with the men’s national U-17 team, scoring a goal and an assist in the first match and wearing the captain’s armband in the second match.
“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 finished first in voting ahead of runners up Jonathan David of Ottawa (Internationals SC) and fellow Whitecaps FC Residency product Gabriel Escobar of Vancouver. On the women’s side, Deanne Rose finished first in voting ahead of runners up Emma Regan of Burnaby (Whitecaps FC Girls Elite) and Sarah Stratigakis of Woodbridge, ON (Aurora United FC).
CANADIAN U-17 PLAYERS OF THE YEAR
2016 – Alphonso Davies & Deanne Rose
2015 – Kadin Chung & Kennedy Faulknor
2014 – Jean-Yves Ballou Tabla & Jessie Fleming
2013 – Marco Carducci & Sura Yekka
2012 – Marco Carducci & Ashley Lawrence
2011 – Bryce Alderson & Ashley Lawrence
2010 – Bryce Alderson & Diamond Simpson
2009 – Russell Teibert & Abigail Raymer
2008 – Russell Teibert & Monica Lam-Feist
2007 – Olivier Lacoste-Lebuis & Monica Lam-Feist
Bold = Current or former Whitecaps FC player