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

Third elephant seal moults on Gonzales Beach

Victoria City staff were out Monday morning shifting pylons to protect an… Continue reading

Remains of two people found in Ucluelet

Officials have not said whether or not the remains belong to Ryan Daley or Dan Archbald

Suman, mom of Reena Virk, has died

Mother of 1997 murder victim became an activist against bullying

First Vancouver Island heat wave of the summer is here

Environment Canada issues a special weather statement as temperatures creep into the 30s

Does a creature lurk beneath Caddy Bay?

Researchers on hunt for Cadborosaurus, with sightings dating back centuries along the B.C. coast

Canada won’t ‘play politics’ on U.S. migrant children policy

The U.S. government is under fire over its ”zero tolerance” policy

Late goal gives England 2-1 win over Tunisia

At the last World Cup in 2014, England couldn’t even win a game

Canadian military police officer pleads not guilty to sex assault

Sgt. Kevin MacIntyre, 48, entered his plea today at a court martial proceeding in Halifax

CRD tightens leash on dog walkers

Five regional parks in Sooke now have new restrictions on dogs

North Island College gets $328,000 for forestry education funding

Announcement in Campbell River part of $1 million around B.C.

Body discovered in Port Alberni building

RCMP turn investigation over to BC Coroner’s office

Cheers erupt as Federal Court judge approves historic gay purge settlement

Gay military veterans said they were interrogated, harassed and spied on because of their sexuality

Helping B.C.’s helpers cope

The MRT has helped almost 7,000 first responders and street workers in 57 communities in B.C.

Most Read