BC Soccer and Vancouver Whitecaps FC announce inaugural Girls Elite Regional EXCEL Centre roster

Talented group assembled to develop through Canada Soccer Pathway

VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC and BC Soccer announced today the inaugural roster for Western Canada’s first Regional EXCEL Centre (REX).

“This is a very talented group of young players that we’ve assembled for our inaugural REX roster,” said Whitecaps FC Girls Elite REX head coach Jesse Symons. “We’re very excited to work with each of these players as they continue to develop along the Canada Soccer Pathway.”

“We want to congratulate all of the girls who were selected for the inaugural Girls Elite Regional Excel Roster as this is an exciting time for those players and for female soccer in this province and across the country,” said Rob Csabai, BC Soccer Rex Director and BC Soccer Interim Director of Soccer Development.  “We have built a great partnership with Canada Soccer and Whitecaps FC which has allowed all of our organizations to highlight and deliver a player pathway that will ultimately drive more BC players to Canadian National teams.”

Five players from the full-time Girls Elite squad will take part in the expanded REX program in Partnership with BC Soccer, including defenders Simmrin Dhaliwal (Mountain United FC) and Olivia Sheppard (Coastal FC); midfielders Jenna Baxter (Surrey United SC) and Rachel Jones (Mountain United FC), and midfielder/striker Ashley Burgess (Coastal FC).

Joining the REX program on a full-time basis from the Girls Elite part-time roster are goalkeepers Abigail Hunt (Surrey United SC) and Faith O’Neill (Mountain United FC); defenders Bryana Buttar (Fraser Valley Premier), Sophie Damien (Mountain United FC), and Reese Moffatt (Surrey United SC); midfielders Ebony Clarke (Surrey United SC), Julia Grosso (Mountain United FC), and Caitlin Shaw (Coquitlam Metro-Ford SC); and strikers Sagen Brar (Coastal FC), Camila Gomez-Hernandez (Mountain United FC), Jordyn Huitema (Surrey United SC), and Emma Regan (Mountain United FC). Buttar, Gomez-Hernandez, Grosso, Huitema, and Regan all represented the winning Canadian team at the 2014 CONCACAF Girls’ U-15 Championship.

New to the program are defenders Emma Hooton (Mountain United FC), Kassie Kirlik (Surrey United SC), Danielle Mosher (Fusion FC), and Cecilia Way (Vancouver Island Wave), as well as striker Shanya Dhindsa (Coastal FC).

Every player on the inaugural Whitecaps FC Girls Elite REX roster in Partnership with BC Soccer came through the EA SPORTS BC Soccer Premier League and the BC Soccer High Performance Program.


Emma Humphries named assistant coach

Vancouver Whitecaps FC have also announced that Emma Humphries has been appointed as Girls Elite REX and Academy Centre assistant coach.

“Emma brings tremendous experience at the international level which will benefit our young players as they work towards playing for Canada,” said Whitecaps FC director of soccer development Dan Lenarduzzi. “We’re thrilled to welcome Emma to our coaching staff.”

Humphries joins Whitecaps FC after working with Mountain United FC in the EA SPORTS BC Soccer Premier League and the BC Soccer High Performance Program in 2014. Humphries is a UEFA B License coach who previously coached in her native New Zealand, working under current Canadian Women’s National Team head coach John Herdman and Canada Soccer Women’s EXCEL U-14/U-17 Director Beverly Priestman. In her playing days, Humphries represented the New Zealand women’s national team at the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup coached by Herdman, and also at the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. Collegiately, Humphries played at California State Fullerton and later Coastal Carolina in NCAA Division I.