Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced the addition of two Homegrown players on Friday, signing midfielder/forward Kamron Habibullah (habi-bu-llah) and defender/midfielder Matteo Campagna (cahm-pan-ya) from the Whitecaps FC BMO MLS Academy.
Habibullah and Campagna spent the duration of preseason with the first team after recently being a part of the Whitecaps FC U-23 team. Both players will continue to train with the MLS first team and can be added to the first team roster upon the availability of roster spots.The local players bring the total to seven British Columbians currently signed to the first team roster, and become the 23rd and 24th academy players all-time to ink an MLS Homegrown contract with the club.
“Kamron and Matteo are both young players with promising upside; however, this is only the beginning for them,” said Axel Schuster, Whitecaps FC sporting director and chief executive officer. “They showed up to preseason humble, focused and concentrated. They know that the hard work continues and they need to push themselves to their highest level. We will continue to support them in all aspects of their development, and we believe that they have the ability to earn meaningful minutes in the future.”
Whitecaps FC midfielder/forward Kamron Habibullah
- Joined the Whitecaps FC BMO Academy System as a 12-year-old in 2016
- Played international competition with the ‘Caps in England, Mexico, Netherlands, South Korea, and Spain
- Represented Canada at the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Brazil
Habibullah, 17, first joined the Whitecaps FC BMO Academy System as a 12-year-old in 2016. Over three seasons playing in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy from U-16 to U-19, Habibullah amassed 21 goals in 58 appearances.
The resident of Vancouver, BC put in strong performances with the U-15s at the 2018 Rotterdam Cup in the Netherlands, and on a trip to Spain where he scored a winning goal against Real Madrid Academy. He also excelled with the U-17s at the 2019 Generation adidas Cup, netting four goals. As a young player in 2018 and 2019, Habibullah faced international club competition during trips with the Whitecaps FC Development Squad to Mexico, England, and South Korea.
“I want to thank Allah for giving me this opportunity, without Allah I’m nothing,” said Habibullah. “I’d like to thank my mom, my dad, and my two brothers. They all inspire me in their own ways, without them I’m not who I am today and I wouldn’t be here signing my first pro contract. Thank you to the coaches for believing in me, and thank you to my agent and everyone close to me for supporting me along the way. I hope to use this as a key step in my career. I’ll always be giving my all to the team, to get better, to learn, and to prove myself every day. This is a big moment for me and my family but it’s just the start.”
At the national team level, Habibullah represented Canada’s U-17 men’s national team in 2019, scoring three goals during qualifying and then starting twice and making three appearances later that year at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Brazil.
In his youth, Habibullah played at South Burnaby Metro Club, Burnaby Selects, and Mountain United FC, and was a part of the BC Soccer Provincial Program. Habibullah was born in Uzbekistan in 2003 after his father Muhibullah emigrated to Tashkent from Afghanistan at age 16 and met his mother, Gavkhar. The family moved to British Columbia in 2005.
Whitecaps FC defender/midfielder Matteo Campagna
- Joined the Whitecaps FC BMO Academy System at the age of 13 in 2017
- Played international competition with the ‘Caps in England and the Netherlands
- Represented Canada at the 2019 Concacaf U-15 Boys Championship
Campagna, 16, entered the Whitecaps FC BMO Academy System in 2017. In his three seasons in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, he made 53 appearances from U-15 to U-17 and scored one goal. Alongside Habibullah, he was part of the U-15 academy side that claimed the Northwest Division title in 2018. Campagna also participated in the 2018 West Ham United Football Cup with the ‘Caps U-14s and the 2019 SportChain Cup in Rotterdam with the ‘Caps U-15s.
“I am blessed to have signed my first professional contract with my hometown club,” said Campagna. “It has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. I want to thank the Whitecaps staff for believing in me and giving me this opportunity. I would also like to thank Surrey United, where it all started, and to my friends and agent who have supported me along the way. Most important is my family, who have been there through everything and I can’t thank them enough. I am excited for what’s to come and for my future at the Whitecaps. The hard work continues. All glory to God.”
For his country, Campagna was called up to represented Canada at the 2019 Concacaf U-15 Boys Championship, making four starts while playing in all five matches.
Born in Vancouver, BC, and raised in Surrey, BC, Campagna played his youth soccer with Surrey United SC and was a part of the BC Soccer Provincial Program. Campagna’s father Luca is originally from Frosinone, Italy and mother Tara is from Metro Vancouver.