VANCOUVER, BC – Ali Adnan has committed to Whitecaps FC.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced on Friday that the club has acquired left back Adnan from Italian Serie A club Udinese Calcio in a multimillion-dollar transaction, setting an MLS transfer record for the fullback position. The Iraqi international has agreed to a new contract through 2021, with an option for 2022, and will occupy a Designated Player roster slot.
Adnan originally joined Vancouver on a loan through June 30 and will be available pending receipt of his permanent International Transfer Certificate (ITC).
“Ali has been a great addition to our club since arriving in March,” said Whitecaps FC head coach Marc Dos Santos. “He understands our defensive principles and has an incredible ability to join the attack, create in the last third, which is very important for teams that want to have an impact offensively using their fullbacks.”
“From my first day at this club, I feel like I’m at home. It’s not easy to find a club like this,” added Adnan. “I am very thankful to the club’s ownership, coaches, staff, and my teammates. The fans and city of Vancouver have been extremely welcoming and supportive. I look forward to representing everyone at the club to the best of my ability.”
Adnan has started all 16 matches for Whitecaps FC since making his debut on March 30 against Seattle. The 6-foot-1 fullback has recorded one goal, two assists, and leads the team in duels won, aerials won, completed dribbles, and passes played into the opponent’s box.
Whitecaps FC left back Ali Adnan 2019 statistics in MLS:
- 136 duels won – second most by a defender, sixth most overall
- 47 aerials won – fourth most by a fullback, 18th most overall
- 35 completed dribbles – most by a defender, tied for 13th most overall
- 71 passes played into the opponent’s box – tied for third most by a defender
“This has been a thorough process, and I give a lot of credit to our ownership and to our staff for their hard work and diligence throughout,” explained Dos Santos. “Ali has thoroughly enjoyed his time here and has received tremendous support from our fans. We are very pleased that Ali is committed to Vancouver and our club.”
Adnan arrived in Vancouver having spent over three seasons in the Italian Serie A with Udinese, including a loan stint with Atalanta BC, collecting 49 starts in 68 league appearances, and adding one goal. The native of Baghdad, Iraq has scored four goals in 49 appearances for his senior national team, most recently starring at the 2019 AFC Asian Cup in January.
In a separate transaction, Whitecaps FC utilized discretionary Targeted Allocation Money on Joaquín Ardaiz. As a result, the striker will no longer occupy a Designated Player roster slot for Vancouver in 2019.
Whitecaps FC remain on the road for two more matches as they visit league-leading Los Angeles Football Club on Saturday, July 6 and then begin their quest for the Voyageurs Cup with the first leg of the third round of qualifying in the Canadian Championship against Canadian Premier League side Cavalry FC in Calgary, Alberta on Wednesday, July 10. As a result of the loan with Udinese being a sub-loan with Atalanta, the Italian Football Federation was required to recall Adnan’s ITC via FIFA Transfer Matching System (TMS). Whitecaps FC and MLS have requested that FIFA allow the ITC recall prior to the opening of the transfer window in Canada on July 9. The final ruling on Adnan’s eligibility for Saturday’s match will be determined today by 2 p.m. PT.
The ‘Caps next home match is on Saturday, July 13 versus Sporting Kansas City.