VANCOUVER -- Canadian goalkeeper Marco Carducci signed with the Vancouver Whitecaps on Tuesday, becoming the eighth player from the team's residency program to graduate to the Major League Soccer squad.
"Marco is a product of our youth development setup and we're confident that he is ready to make the next step. He is a promising young goalkeeper who is mature beyond his years," Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson said in a release.
The 17-year-old goalkeeper from Calgary joined the Whitecaps residency program in September 2011 and has been a standout ever since. The six-foot-one, 185-pounder recorded 14 clean sheets in the 2011-12 United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA).
He allowed just two goals in four pre-season appearances last month with the first team.
"Spending the last two and-a-half years with the residency program, I saw a lot of the support from the club and fans right from the start. Now to be able to make the next step up to the first team is a huge honour for me," Carducci said. "That was always my goal coming in and I'm really excited for the future."
Carducci is a two-time Canadian under-17 player of the year, recording eight caps with the U17 team after making his national youth team debut at 15. He started Canada's three matches of the 2013 FIFA U17 World Cup, and won a bronze medal with Canada at the 2013 CONCACAF men's U17 championship, starting all four matches and recording a clean sheet in the tournament opener against Trinidad and Tobago.
He becomes the Whitecaps' first goalkeeper to graduate from the residency program, and joins former residency players Sam Adekugbe, Bryce Alderson, Caleb Clarke, and Russell Teibert on the first team.