Doneil Henry. (Canadian Press)

Vancouver Whitecaps add former Toronto FC centre back Doneil Henry

Canadian international returns from West Ham

VANCOUVER (CP) — Doneil Henry is heading back to Canada.

The Vancouver Whitecaps announced Friday they have acquired the Canadian international and former Toronto FC centre back from West Ham United of the English Premier League via Major League Soccer’s allocation process.

Henry was Toronto’s first academy product to sign a professional contract back in 2010, scoring five times in 93 appearances across all competitions before leaving for Europe in 2015.

The 24-year-old from Brampton, Ont., spent the bulk of his time with West Ham on loan at other clubs, including then-Championship side Blackburn Rovers.

Henry, who has played 22 times for Canada, was honoured with the country’s under-20 player of the year award in 2012.

But the six-foot-two, 180-pound defender never gained much traction at West Ham, where he played just one first-team match in the 2015-16 UEFA Europa League, before suffering a significant knee injury in November 2016 while on loan to Denmark’s AC Horsens.

“Doneil is an athletic centre back who’s strong in the air. He will be a good complementary piece to our core of defenders,” Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson, who was co-captain at TFC when Henry was wearing the armband for its academy, said in a statement. “His experience in Europe will serve him well.

“Doneil has a point to prove and we look forward to bringing him in.”

The Whitecaps already have Kendall Waston and Tim Parker as mainstays in the centre of defence, along with Aaron Maund.

Vancouver announced earlier this month it wasn’t picking up the contract option on fellow Canadian international David Edgar, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in December 2016 in a hit-and-run motor vehicle accident, but added at the time the club and player remained in talks.

The Whitecaps finished third in Major League Soccer’s Western Conference in 2017 and won their first-ever playoff game before falling to the Seattle Sounders in the second round.

Vancouver opens pre-season training on Jan. 22, with its 2018 MLS schedule set to begin March 4 against the Montreal Impact at B.C. Place Stadium.

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Windstorm topples tree onto townhouse in Nanaimo

Heavy winds have thousands of B.C. Hydro customers without power

IIO doesn’t recommend charges after motorcyclist death in Mill Bay

An off-duty VicPD officer was involved in the crash

Stranded B.C. trucker writes final wishes before being rescued 3 days later

‘I was just praying someone would come along’

B.C. to move salmon farms out of coastal migration route

Broughton Archipelago plan set to start in spring of 2019

High winds force several BC Ferries sailing cancellations

Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay, Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay, and Duke Point to Tsawwassen among closures

Tommy Chong says Canada took wrong approach to pot legalization

He also talked about the likelihood of another Cheech and Chong film

New wind warning for most of Vancouver Island

Forecasters are calling for strong winds up to 90km/h for some areas

Vancouver Island fire chief pleads with Ottawa for traumatic stress support

Campbell River fire chief Thomas Doherty presented concerns to federal government

Blind Parksville man learns to trust new four-legged partner

Canadian National Institute for the Blind introduces first group of guide dogs

Mike Duffy can’t sue Senate over suspension without pay, judge rules

Duffy’s lawsuit sought more than $7.8 million from the upper chamber

Language on Sikh extremism in report will be reviewed, Goodale says

A public-safety ministry document indicats terrorist threats to Canada included a section on Sikh extremism for the first time

Questions raised over retailers who shame shoplifters with photos

Alleged theft from a sex shop in Newfoundland led to posts on social media

Media, robotics, Indigenous studies coming to B.C. Grade 12 classrooms in 2019-20

Provincial tests are also being changed for students in Grade 10 to 12, the Education Ministry said

VIDEO: Royals reveal the images on their Christmas cards

Prince William and his wife Kate are shown outside in casual clothes, their three young children in tow

Most Read