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

New marijuana regulations questioned

A smokescreen for opposition to legal pot, say some critics

Sarah Simpson column: The hot and sticky mess that is parenthood in a heatwave

I took my 2-year-old out in just a diaper and her pink sunglasses to hunt for “blue” ice cream

Authorities call for calm as fires burn near Zeballos

Authorities are asking residents not to panic as several wildfires burn near… Continue reading

Esquimalt man faces four charges of sexual assault, investigators suspect more victims

71-year old Kit Wong practiced acupuncture from his home during the time of the assaults

Last surviving member of Canada’s greatest female basketball team of all time dies

Comox resident Kay MacRitchie MacBeth played guard for the world-champion Edmonton Grads

‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin has died

Publicist Gwendolyn Quinn reports Franklin passed Thursday at 9:50 a.m. at her home in Detroit

Italy says death toll will mount in Genoa bridge collapse

Authorities worried about the stability of remaining large sections of a partially collapsed bridge evacuated about 630 people from nearby apartments.

Former CIA Director: Trump worked with Russians and now he’s desperate

In an opinion piece in The New York Times, John Brennan cites press reports and Trump’s own goading of Russia during the campaign to find Democrat Hillary Clinton’s missing emails.

Church sex scandal: Abuse victims want a full reckoning

Since the crisis exploded in Boston in 2002, dioceses around the country have dealt with similar revelations of widespread sexual abuse.

Baloney Meter: is flow of asylum seekers at Canada-U.S. border a ‘crisis’?

“I think any time you have a government that allows 30,000 people over the course of a short period of time to come into Canada illegally, the impact that that has, that is a crisis,” said Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer.

B.C. RCMP say Kinder Morgan protest camp to be dismantled today

RCMP say they will enforce a court injunction today and remove Trans Mountain pipeline protesters who have been camped outside a Kinder Morgan terminal in Burnaby.

Altidore nets 3 as Toronto drubs Whitecaps 5-2

Vancouver falls 7-4 on aggregate in Canadian Championship final

Ottawa intervenes to get B.C. ball player, 13, to Little League World Series

Before immigration issue was resolved, Dio Gama was out practicing the game he loves Wednesday

Pet goldfish invades small B.C. lake

Pinecrest Lake is located between Whistler and Squamish

Most Read