VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Whitecaps have signed developmental squad midfielder Damiano Pecile to an MLS Homegrown contract.

The 17-year-old becomes the 22nd Whitecaps academy product to sign an MLS Homegrown contract with the club.

A native of Burnaby, B.C., Pecile joined the Whitecaps academy in 2015.

Pecile split 2019 playing with the Whitecaps development squad, the academy under-19 side and Canada's under-17 team.

Pecile played every minute for Canada in three matches at the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup.

The Whitecaps say Pecile will continue to play with the development squad and academy under-19 team.

"We will continue to evaluate the best options for him, which may include a loan in the coming months should it make sense for his progression," Whitecaps sporting director Axel Schuster said in a statement.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 14, 2020.