LOS ANGELES, CA – Vancouver Whitecaps FC selected right back Jakob Nerwinski in the first round (seventh overall) and centre back Francis de Vries in the second round (29th overall) of the 2017 MLS SuperDraft on Friday. Rounds 3 and 4 of the 2017 MLS SuperDraft will take place via conference call on Tuesday, January 17 at 11 a.m. PT.
Whitecaps FC defender Jakob Nerwinski
• Recorded five goals and 17 assists in 75 starts and 81 appearances at the University of Connecticut
• Three-time selection to All-American Athletic Conference Team (2014, 2015, and 2016)
• Co-captained at Connecticut as junior and senior
• Called up to the United States men’s national team U-23 college identification camp in July 2015
Nerwinski, 22, recorded five goals and 17 assists in his four years at the University of Connecticut, starting 75 of his 81 appearances for the Huskies.
The six-foot right back was a three-time member of the All-American Athletic Conference Team, culminating with a First Team selection as a senior. A two-year captain at Connecticut, Nerwinski was also named to the NSCAA All-East Region Second Team as a junior, then to the First Team in his final year.
The defender from Lawrenceville, New Jersey played at Notre Dame High School in his hometown, where he was a four-year All-District player. As team captain in his senior year, Nerwinski was named to the All-State, All-Area, and All-Colonial Valley Conference teams, as well as his team’s Most Valuable Player.
Internationally, Nerwinski was called up to the United States men’s national team U-23 college identification camp in July 2015.
Nerwinski played on the New Jersey Soccer Association 04 Development Academy team in his youth.
Whitecaps FC defender Francis de Vries
• Two-time Northeastern Conference Defender of the Year (2014 and 2015)
• Two-time NSCAA Third Team All-American (2015 and 2016)
• Won two PDL championships with Michigan Bucks (2014 and 2016)
• Spent time with FC Basel academy in Switzerland
De Vries, 22, joins Whitecaps FC after spending four seasons playing at Saint Francis University. The native of Christchurch, New Zealand started all 78 of his appearances, scoring 15 goals and recording six assists. His performances saw him twice named a NSCAA Third Team All-American, as well as two-time Northeastern Conference Defender of the Year, and three-time First Team All-Northeastern Conference.
In between his collegiate career, de Vries played in the USL PDL with Michigan Bucks, helping the club win the league championship in both 2014 and 2016.
Prior to enrolling at Saint Francis, the 6-foot-2 defender played in the youth academy of New Zealand club Canterbury United, winning the 2011 National Youth League, and later at the academy of FC Basel in Switzerland.
Date of Birth: October 17, 1994
Hometown: Lawrenceville, New Jersey
Citizenship: United States
Status: Domestic, Unsigned
Last Club: University of Connecticut Huskies
How Acquired: Selected seventh overall in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft by Whitecaps FC
Francis de Vries
Date of Birth: November 28, 1994
Hometown: Christchurch, New Zealand
Citizenship: New Zealand
Status: International, Unsigned
Last Club: Saint Francis University Red Flash
How Acquired: Selected 29th overall in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft by Whitecaps FC