Whitecaps FC Sign MLS NEXT Pro Wingback Ali Ahmed to an MLS Contract Through 2025
November 16, 2022 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Vancouver Whitecaps FC News Release
VANCOUVER, BC - Vancouver Whitecaps FC Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced on Wednesday that the club has signed wingback Ali Ahmed from the club's MLS NEXT Pro side Whitecaps FC 2 (WFC2) to an MLS contract through 2025, with a club option for 2026.
"Ali's journey has not been linear. He is a great example that if you are talented and have the drive to work and learn, you can make it from anywhere to the top league in North America. He is also proof of how important it is to have MLS NEXT Pro as part of our development pyramid," said Axel Schuster, Whitecaps FC sporting director. "Ali has impressed us by being one of the most consistent and impactful players on our WFC2 team and he deserves to make this next step in his career. He possesses a lot of quality and at the same time we believe he still has a lot of potential for growth."
Whitecaps FC wingback Ali Ahmed
Becomes first WFC2 NEXT Pro player to sign with the club's first team
Made two first team appearances in 2022, after signing MLS short-term agreements
Tallied a WFC2 team-leading five assists in 14 starts and 15 appearances in 2022
"All praise to God for this moment," added Ahmed. "It's a really big moment for me and my family, hopefully just the start. It's a dream come true to sign with the first team here in Vancouver. The club has given me the opportunity to grow, develop, and prove myself with the second team, which played a big role in getting me to this point and for that I'm very grateful. Big thanks to my family, friends, ATG and all the coaches who have helped me along the way. I am looking forward to getting right to work and helping the club take that next step."
Ahmed, 22, started 14 of his 15 appearances with WFC2 during the 2022 MLS NEXT Pro regular season, leading the team with five assists and 21 successful dribbles. Ahmed also led the team in tackles (39), was second in key passes (17), third in duels (41) and fourth in interceptions (26). For his efforts, Ahmed was named the WFC2 Player of the Year, selected for the award by his teammates and WFC2 staff.
In addition, the wingback received two MLS short-term call-ups to the Whitecaps FC first team, making substitute appearances at Austin FC on April 23 and against Houston Dynamo FC on August 5. Ahmed also spent the 2022 preseason camp with the first team in California.
Prior to signing with WFC2 last March, the native of Toronto, Ontario first joined the club as a member of the Whitecaps FC Development Squad in 2020. Before arriving in Vancouver, Ahmed previously had tryouts with Toronto FC, as well as clubs in Portugal, Spain, England, and the Netherlands.
TRANSACTION: On November 16, Whitecaps FC sign wingback Ali Ahmed to an MLS contract through 2025, with a club option for 2026.
Weight: 150 pounds
Date of Birth: October 10, 2000, in Toronto, Ontario
Hometown: Toronto, Ontario
Previous Team: Whitecaps FC 2 (2022)
Youth Team: Toronto Youth Football Club
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