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Whitecaps FC Sign Academy Players Gianfranco Facchineri and Patrick Metcalfe to MLS Homegrown Contracts

January 23, 2020 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Vancouver Whitecaps FC News Release

VANCOUVER, BC - Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced on Thursday that the club has signed Academy products Gianfranco Facchineri and Patrick Metcalfe to MLS Homegrown contracts.

The pair become the 20th and 21st Whitecaps FC Academy products to sign an MLS Homegrown contract with the club.

Facchineri and Metcalfe earned first team contracts after featuring with the Development Squad in 2019, impressing against strong competition including during trips to South Korea and Mexico. They join Thomas Hasal and Georges Mukumbilwa as Development Squad players who have been added to the club's MLS roster in the last year.

Whitecaps FC centre back Gianfranco Facchineri

Featured for Whitecaps FC U-17 in 2018-19, and Development Squad in 2019

Represented Canada at Concacaf U-17 Championship and FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2019

2019 Whitecaps FC BMO RESP Academy Male Player award recipient

Developed at Windsor Ciociaro SC and Vardar SC in Ontario before joining Whitecaps FC in 2018 "This means everything to me," said Facchineri. "Since I was seven years old, my dream has been to be a professional footballer. My dream is to not only be a professional footballer but to have a career in football. I want to thank my parents and my sister; they are my three biggest supporters and my three biggest critics. I also want to thank every coach from youth, to the national team program, and the Whitecaps FC Academy for helping me get to this point. I'm excited to get to work."

"Frankie is a player who has worked hard and grown since joining our club. We really like his mindset, especially his approach to training and commitment to learning," added Whitecaps FC head coach Marc Dos Santos. "He is still young, he will have time to develop, and is someone we want to have close to the first team even if there is the possibility of him continuing his progress with the U-19s and Development Squad."

Facchineri, 17, joined the Whitecaps FC Academy in August 2018 and made 14 starts for the U-17 and U-19 sides in the Development Academy, including playoffs, then moved up to the Development Squad in 2019.

The 6-foot defender also had a busy year in international competition, co-captaining Canada at the Concacaf U-17 Championship then representing his country at the FIFA U-17 World Cup, playing every minute in both tournaments and collecting seven caps.

Facchineri's 2019 campaign was capped off with a Whitecaps FC BMO RESP Academy Male Player recognition at the club's year-end awards.

Prior to his arrival in Vancouver, Facchineri developed in his youth at Windsor Ciociaro SC, Windsor FC Nationals, and Vardar SC in Ontario before joining Whitecaps FC in 2018. He was selected to the Ontario Provincial Team Program at the U-14 and U-15 age levels.

Whitecaps FC central midfielder Patrick Metcalfe

Spent 2019 playing with Whitecaps FC Development Squad on trips to England, South Korea, and Mexico

35 starts and 46 appearances with Whitecaps FC Academy, including a start in the 2016 Development Academy Championship final

Four USL appearances with WFC2 in 2017

Canada West champion with UBC Thunderbirds in 2017 "This has been something I have been working towards my whole life," said Metcalfe. "I would like to thank my parents and my brother for the support that they have always given me, and all the coaches along the way who have had a great impact in helping me earn this opportunity."

"Patrick is a great example for all young players," added Dos Santos. "He is always committed, always ready to train, he can play in all the three spots in the midfield and can also fill in as a centre back if needed. From what I have seen since I've joined the club, Patrick deserves this contract and we want to give him the opportunity to continue to grow."

The product of Richmond, BC originally joined the Whitecaps FC Academy in March 2016. During his two seasons playing in the Development Academy, Metcalfe started 35 of his 46 appearances with three goals, including a start in the 2016 U-18 DA Championship final.

Following his time in the academy, Metcalfe was signed to a USL contract with former side Whitecaps FC 2. In his lone 2017 season, he would make two starts in four appearances.

Metcalfe also played for the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds in 2017, leading the school to the Canada West championship. In the summer of 2018, the midfielder played USL League two with TSS Rovers, making 10 appearances, then began featuring for the Whitecaps FC Development Squad in the following year.

Prior to joining the Whitecaps FC Academy, Metcalfe played with Fusion FC from U-14 to U-18 in the EA SPORTS BC Soccer Premier League (BCSPL) and was voted MVP at the U-17 level and named captain at the U-18 level. From U-7 to U-14, Metcalfe played with Richmond FC, including winning a BC Soccer provincial championship at the U-13 level.

At the provincial level, the Lower Mainland product was selected to the BC Soccer Provincial Team Program from U-13 to U-15.

TRANSACTIONS: On January 23, 2020, Whitecaps FC signed Gianfranco Facchineri and Patrick Metcalfe to MLS Homegrown contracts.

Gianfranco Facchineri

Pronunciation: fach-ah-nair-ee

Position: Centre back

Height: 6-00

Weight: 185 pounds

Date of Birth: April 27, 2002 in Windsor, Ontario

Hometown: Windsor, Ontario

Citizenship: Canada, Italy

Status: Domestic, Homegrown

Youth Clubs: Windsor Ciociaro SC, Windsor FC Nationals, Vardar SC

VWFC Teams: Whitecaps FC Development Squad ('19 - '20), WFC Academy ('18 - '19)

Patrick Metcalfe

Position: Central midfielder

Height: 6-0

Weight: 175 pounds

Date of Birth: November 11, 1998 in Vancouver, BC

Hometown: Richmond, BC

Citizenship: Canada

Status: Domestic

Youth Clubs: Fusion FC, Richmond FC

VWFC Teams: Whitecaps FC Development Squad ('19 - '20), WFC Academy ('16 - '20)

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