Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced on Friday that Nick Dasovic has joined the club’s technical staff and been named head coach of the newly formed U-23 development squad.
“Nick is a highly regarded and engaged coach who is very invested in the development of Canadian players,” said Greg Anderson, Whitecaps FC vice-president of soccer operations. “He is a Canadian Soccer Hall of Famer, and his experience at the highest levels both as a player and as a coach will be invaluable as we strengthen the pathway from our Academy to the first team.”
Dasovic, a UEFA Pro License coach, brings more than 30 years of experience as a player and coach. The Vancouver native began his coaching career with Canada’s men’s national team program in 2002, before joining the ‘Caps as a player-coach that year. At the MLS level, he was an assistant coach with both Toronto FC and San Jose Earthquakes, as well as in the academy for TFC and later as interim first team head coach in 2010. Internationally, Dasovic has served as an assistant coach with Canada’s senior men’s national team, as well as head coach of the U-20 and U-23 national teams, the former of which he worked with current Whitecaps FC assistant coach Phillip Dos Santos.
Most recently, Dasovic was an assistant coach with the Simon Fraser University men’s soccer team, as well as a coach with BC Soccer Premier League club Mountain United FC.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Nick back to the club,” added Whitecaps FC president Bob Lenarduzzi. “His ability to work with young players combined with his experiences and relationships in the Canadian soccer community make him a perfect fit for this role.”
As a player, Dasovic played professionally in Croatia, France, Sweden, Scotland, and in Canada with both Montreal Impact and Vancouver 86ers and Whitecaps. For his country, he represented Canada 63 times and was inducted into Canada’s Soccer Hall of Fame in 2011, before being selected as one of the top 100 men’s footballers during Canada Soccer’s centennial celebrations in 2012.
The Whitecaps FC U-23 development squad kicked off this past fall, primarily featuring up-and-coming first team players and top prospects from the academy, while playing matches against local and international competition throughout the year. In October, the team made their first trip, traveling to Mexico City to face their Mexican counterparts from Deportivo Toluca FC, Cruz Azul, and Club América.
Whitecaps FC also confirmed on Friday that their USL affiliation with Fresno FC has concluded.
“Fresno have been nothing but professional throughout our relationship this past year,” added Lenarduzzi. “We want to thank owner Ray Beshoff, general manager Frank Yallop, and head coach Adam Smith and we wish them the very best for this coming season and beyond.”