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Whitecaps FC Select Ten Players in MLS 2010 Expansion Draft

November 24, 2010 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Vancouver Whitecaps FC News Release

VANCOUVER, BC - Vancouver Whitecaps FC took a huge step towards the building of their inaugural Major League Soccer roster today by selecting 10 players in the 2010 MLS Expansion Draft. Following Wednesday's draft, Whitecaps FC dealt four of their selections to three MLS clubs.

"Today was another important milestone in the building of our squad for our first season in Major League Soccer," said Whitecaps FC president Bob Lenarduzzi. "We are pleased with the selections we have made in this Expansion Draft, and we look forward to seeing these new players compete with members of our current squad for spots in our inaugural MLS roster."

Whitecaps FC and fellow MLS expansion cousins Portland Timbers each made their draft selections from a list of nearly 200 MLS players that were made available by the 16 existing MLS clubs on Monday. Making the draft selections for Whitecaps FC were director of soccer operations Tom Soehn, head coach Teitur Thordarson, president Bob Lenarduzzi, and director of professional teams Greg Anderson.

In order of selection, Whitecaps FC picked Seattle Sounders FC winger Sanna Nyassi (Round One), FC Dallas midfielder/striker Atiba Harris (Round Two), Seattle Sounders FC defender Nathan Sturgis (Round Three), Philadelphia Union midfielder Shea Salinas (Round Four), Chivas USA striker Alan Gordon (Round Five), Toronto FC forward O'Brian White (Round Six), Philadelphia Union striker Alejandro Moreno (Round Seven), San Jose Earthquakes goalkeeper Joe Cannon (Round Eight), Sporting Kansas City defender Jonathan Leathers (Round Nine), and Chicago Fire midfielder John Thorrington (Round Ten).

Following the Expansion Draft, Whitecaps FC traded their first pick in Sanna Nyassi to 2010 MLS Cup champions Colorado Rapids for an international player spot. Vancouver then dealt fifth-round selection Alan Gordon back to Chivas USA for another international player spot, as well as seventh-round selection Alejandro Moreno to Chivas USA for allocation money. Vancouver also traded their sixth-round selection in O'Brian White to Pacific Northwest rivals Seattle Sounders FC for allocation money.

Whitecaps FC 2010 MLS Expansion Draft selections

Second-round pick Atiba Harris, 25, joins Whitecaps FC from MLS Cup finalists FC Dallas. Standing at 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds, the St. Kitts & Nevis international had previous MLS spells with Real Salt Lake and Chivas USA. The Caribbean import started his professional career as a youth trainee at English Premier League giants Newcastle United FC.

As the 'Caps third selection, defender Nathan Sturgis, 23, makes the short move up Interstate 5 to Vancouver from Seattle Sounders FC, where he appeared in the Washington State club's first two MLS seasons. Prior to his spell in The Emerald City, the 5-foot-10, 150-pound Sturgis spent time with Real Salt Lake and Los Angeles Galaxy, who made them their 12th overall pick in the 2006 MLS SuperDraft.

Fourth-round pick Shea Salinas, 24, arrives in Vancouver from 2010 MLS expansion club Philadelphia Union. A 5-foot-10, 150-pound winger, the native of Lubbock, Texas, spent two seasons with San Jose Earthquakes before joining Philadelphia after being selected by the Union in the 2009 MLS Expansion Draft.

Whitecaps FC's eighth pick was two-time MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Joe Cannon, 35, from San Jose Earthquakes. An athletic shot-stopper with great reflexes, the 6-foot-2, 200-pound Cannon comes to Vancouver with 12 years of MLS experience. The native of Sun Valley, Idaho, also played for the previous edition of the Earthquakes (now Houston Dynamo), Colorado Rapids, and Los Angeles Galaxy. On November 7, 2007, Cannon appeared against the 'Caps as a member of the Galaxy during an international friendly at BC Place.

Vancouver's ninth selection was defender Jonathan Leathers, 25, from Sporting Kansas City. Drafted in the second round of the 2008 MLS SuperDraft, the native of Athens, Georgia, made a total of 36 appearances in three MLS seasons for the American Midwest club - who were known then as Kansas City Wizards.

As the tenth and final pick, midfielder John Thorrington, 31, joins Whitecaps FC from Chicago Fire. Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, the native of Palos Verdes Peninsula, California, spent six seasons with the Fire after joining the Illinois outfit prior to the 2005 season. A former Manchester United FC trainee, the USA international had spells in Europe with German Bundesliga outfit Bayer Leverkusen and English clubs Huddersfield Town FC and Grimsby Town FC.

Atiba Harris Position: Midfielder/Forward Height: 6-03 Weight: 185 Born: January 9, 1985, in Basseterre, St. Kitts and Nevis Last Club: FC Dallas Citizenship: St. Kitts and Nevis How Acquired: Expansion Draft on November 24, 2010

Nathan Sturgis Position: Defender Height: 5-10 Weight: 150 Born: July 6, 1987, in Boca Raton, Florida Last Club: Seattle Sounders FC College: Clemson University Citizenship: United States How Acquired: Expansion Draft on November 24, 2010

Shea Salinas Position: Midfielder Height: 5-10 Weight: 150 Born: June 24, 1986, in Lubbock, Texas Last Club: Philadelphia Union College: Furman University Citizenship: United States How Acquired: Expansion Draft on November 24, 2010

Joe Cannon Position: Goalkeeper Height: 6-02 Weight: 200 Born: January 1, 1975, in Sun Valley, Idaho Last Club: San Jose Earthquakes College: Santa Clara University Citizenship: United States How Acquired: Expansion Draft on November 24, 2010

Jonathan Leathers Position: Defender Height: 5-09 Weight: 160 Born: November 5, 1985, in Athens, Georgia Last Club: Sporting Kansas City College: Furman University Citizenship: United States How Acquired: Expansion Draft on November 24, 2010

John Thorrington Position: Midfielder Height: 5-08 Weight: 150 Born: October 17, 1979, in Johannesburg, South Africa Last Club: Chicago Fire Citizenship: South Africa How Acquired: Expansion Draft on November 24, 2010

More than 15,000 Whitecaps FC season ticket deposits have been sold for the club’s inaugural season in MLS. Season ticket deposit holders will be able to choose from seven different seating categories starting at a base price of $319, plus applicable tax and a $10 processing fee per order. Pricing starts at less than $17 per game and more than 60 per cent of seats are available for less than $31 per game. To secure a seat and for additional information about Whitecaps FC MLS season tickets, suites, and loge boxes, call 604.669.9283 or visit

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