BMO Featured Players

Whitecaps FC and BMO share a commitment to developing young soccer talent through a coast-to-coast network of Whitecaps BMO Academy Centres.
With World Cup 2026 fast approaching, get to know below some of your future Canadian stars with our Whitecaps FC BMO “Ones to Watch” and “Players of the Month”

Ones to Watch

Ebalo Amuri – BMO Whitecaps FC Manitoba Academy

Players of the Month – July

Canmore
Name: Stella Geestman
Birth Year: 2008
What her coaches say: “Stella has been in our Whitecaps Academy since 2017 which makes her a “veteran” in our programming here in Alberta. It has been fantastic to see Stella grow both technically and mentally over the years. Stella is very comfortable when receiving in different scenarios and has very good short-mid range passing ability. An area of continued growth for Stella is to always ensure that her arm is out for protection when being closed with pressure from the side. Additionally, we would like to see heightened awareness to try and break a line more often with a disguised first touch. This will buy her more space and time on the ball when executing her next action. Keep showcasing yourself as a leader among the group Stella!”
CMSA North
Name: Kaylee Hunter
Birth Year: 2008
What her coaches say: “Kaylee came into our Academy this phase and has displayed an extraordinary amount of potential in relation to being a dynamic dribbler. Kaylee also has a great mindset to break lines as a ball carrier first but also has the composure to retain and protect the ball when necessary. It has been a pleasure to work with Kaylee so far as she also has a positive approach to training and has a high work ethic in every training activity. Kaylee needs to keep up this level of consistency and continue to push hard for potential high-performance opportunities with our club. “
Name: Joon Lee
Birth Year: 2010
What his coaches say: “Joon has been a part of our Academy for a couple of years now and has progressed very well. Joon is a dynamic dribbler with a noticeable change of pace with the ball upon taking a first touch which becomes very important as a player progresses on their journey. Joon should continue to develop his shielding habits and make it a habit of getting his arm out to protect the ball when there is pressure coming from the side. Another area for Joon to work on is to develop more disguise on his passes forward to break lines with killer passes”
CMSA South
Name: Yasmeen Tarraf
Birth Year: 2008
What her coaches say: “Yazi has been a part of our Academy for a couple of years now and has always been an exceptional amount of fun to coach. Yazi always comes with a high work ethic mindset to training and brings positive energy to the group. What stands Yazi apart technically from others is her ability to weave her way out of tight pressure situations with a dribble. Yazi also has an excellent ability to change direction with the ball quickly. An area for Yazi to work on is to recognize quicker through heightened awareness, moments when she can break a line with a first touch into space to evade pressure from an incoming defender. This will help her become a bigger difference-maker when executing her next action”
Name: Adam Mekarnia
Birth Year: 2007
What his coaches say: “Adam has been a part of our programs for the past couple of years and we have noticed significant growth in the mental pillar of his game. He has always been blessed with excellent dribbling ability and trickery in 1v1 situations but his mindset in moments of adversity when he loses the ball has really matured. He looks to get it back quickly and impacts the game by stopping the momentum of opponents through applying pressure. Keep dribbling to break lines Adam and keep up your positive mindset to losing the ball. You are improving in an important part of the game”
Okotoks
Name: Jack Deadman
Birth Year: 2012
What his coaches say: “Jack came into our Academy this phase and thoroughly deserves his player of the month award. He has displayed excellent dribbling ability especially in situations where he is under pressure and does not have much momentum. He has a box full of tricks to create that space on either side of the defender and also has the awareness and ability to turn back with the ball to retain it when there is no opportunity to attack space in behind. Jackinho also has a great mindset when training. He gives it 100 percent effort in every activity and with that approach, we are sure we will see continued growth with Jack at our club. Keep up the good work Jack”
Springbank
Name: Beckham Carr
Birth Year: 2009
What his coaches say: “Beckham has come into our Academy this phase and has displayed an excellent capacity to learn. His training habits are very good, he works hard and is enthusiastic in every activity that we run. He is working hard to improve his receiving ability in different scenarios which is important for a defender as they look to start attacks from the back. A particular area of strength in this habit is the ability to open up on the back foot. An area of continued improvement for Beckham is to add a change of pace when a line is broken with a first touch. His short to mid-range passing accuracy is also of a good level. Keep up the good work Beckham!”
Name: Maddie Daabous
Birth Year: 2007
What her coaches say: “Maddie transforms every practice that she is a part of due to her tireless work ethic and positive attitude. Maddie never missed a single Zoom session for our team or the club-wide Tuesday sessions and always came prepared to give her best effort, even trying her best to master skills she previously did not know how to do. In addition to this, Maddie is already a fantastic leader for the 2007 Girls, despite coming to the team later than most. She’s constantly communicating with all of her teammates and inspiring them to do better, while also leading by example through her work ethic and the high demands that she has for her own self-improvement. Maddie is a joy to coach and our Player of the Month nomination!”
Name: Liam Murtland
Birth Year: 2007
What his coaches say: “Liam has remained very focused during the Covid window ensuring that he is attending all available sessions. His work rate, competitiveness, and attention to detail has been great for his own development and served as a great example for others on our team and in the club. We’re excited about the upcoming months where Liam can continue to show these characteristics and we can continue helping him on his development path as a player and leader”
Mainland Academy – Girls
Name: Jaime Polizzi
Birth Year: 2010
What her coaches say: “Jaime shows up on a weekly basis with a smile on her face, ready to learn and to give her best. Jaime has shown continued progress in all areas of her game over the past couple of months and it has been fantastic to see Jaime’s progress as we’ve transitioned back on the field from virtual play. Well done Jaime!”
Mainland Academy – Boys
Name: Gareth Finnigan
Birth Year: 2010
What his coaches say: “This is not Gareth’s first time as our player of the month but we had to recognize him again. Gareth was so focused when we were doing online programming and his commitment to himself has really shown now that we are on the field and back to normal training. Keep it up Gareth!”
UBC
Name: Aja Dehart
Birth Year: 2010
What her coaches say: “Aja has been a joy to work with over the past year. Aja shows up weekly, with a smile on her face, and ready to listen, learn and contribute to the success of her group, as well as continue building on her own development. Well done Aja and keep up the great work!”
Fraser Valley
Name: Briar Balaka
Birth Year: 2011
What his coaches say: “It has been a pleasure working with Briar and watching her continued progress over the past couple of phases. Briar has a great presence within the group and regularly impresses coaches with her ability in tight spaces and decision-making. Well done Briar and keep up the excellent work!”

Name: Charley Petruskavich
Birth Year: 2009
What her coaches say: “Charley is a player of the St. Charles Force Soccer Club and Pre Prospects academy. She’s a committed and hard-working player, and it shows every time she steps on the field. She has excellent technical skills with a great vision of the field and performs well in 1v1 situations. Charley is always willing to learn and take feedback from her coaches, and her quality raises the level of the players around her”

Name: Paris Cahunga
Birth Year: 2006
What her coaches say: “’Outstanding athlete and an exceptionally versatile player with a knack for goals. A player to be closely watched in the coming years”
Prince George
Name: Avery Bjorn
Birth Year: 2006
What her coaches say: “Avery has evolved immensely as a player over the past 18 months. Although quiet, she makes her impact when on the field of play. A very powerful athlete, Avery is hard to knock off the ball when in possession and difficult to track when getting forward into advanced positions. Avery’s mental strength and focus allows her to find her performance zone every time she is on the pitch. This produces very consistent performance outputs and continues to set personal bests during physical testing. We are proud of Avery and look forward to supporting her in reaching her long term goals”
Name: Owen Brannigan
Birth Year: 2008
What his coaches say: “Owen has been a member of the Prince George Whitecaps FC program for many seasons and continues growing daily within the IMPACT/WFC Academy program. An avid viewer of any professional match, Owen is beyond his years as a student of the game. Taking advantage of our five-pillar development program, Owen’s movement skill, mental strength, and comfort on the ball is advancing quickly and now positions him as a leader within our program. With the ability to read and anticipate increasingly complex game tactics, Owen is on track to train with our advanced senior group. We look forward to seeing him continue to develop over the next few years”
Name: Olivia Harrison
Birth Year: 2007
What her coaches say: “Olivia has shown great improvement this spring, coming out of the lockdown with an increased level of competing and intensity in training. A solid goalkeeper with strong shot-stopping skills, Olivia has added a level of communication to her game that has taken her to another level. This has earned her a spot in the NS HPP program that starts in July. Well done Olivia, keep up the great work”
Name: Izabella Ledoux
Birth Year: 2009
What her coaches say: “Despite Izabella being one of the smaller players in the group, her ferocious intent to win the ball and then keep possession is evident at all times. Playing with neither boys or girls intimidates Izabella, and she often catches them off guard due to her quiet nature off the field. In addition to her ability to win the ball, Izabella is also very good at making smart, efficient passes that keep possession. She almost always finds the space to receive the ball and then takes advantage of her skillful passing. Great job Izabella”
Name: Jack Davis
Birth Year: 2005
What his coaches say: “Jack plays as a goalkeeper with the full-time MLS program and has been outstanding over the last few months. Jack consistently bring 100% to practice and is always looking to find another level to take his game to. In the recent few months, he has been working on his positioning and distribution and has excelled in both. It takes bravery, especially as a GK, to take up more advanced positions that make you feel uncomfortable, but Jack has done it with aplomb. A role model for all those around him who want to get better. Great job Jack, keep up the hard-work!”
Name: Maeve Donovan
Birth Year: 2009
What her coaches say: “Maeve works very hard on and off the field and is dedicated to improving her game. She has good technique, composure on the ball and brings a high level of focus and intensity to training. She has improved her passing, movement, and game awareness and is a real team player”
Name: Luke Demeulenaere
Birth Year: 2010
What his coaches say: “Luke has shown great consistency. He can hold the ball up well, finish from distance, and win balls in the air. He has also pitched in as a defender as needed and is improving his mobility off the ball and dribbling. He is a pleasure to coach”
PLAYER BMO ACADEMY CENTRE
Addis & Semegn Atkinson Kootenay BMO Academy Centre
Alessandro Calado Manitoba BMO Academy Centre
Alesandro Comita Kamloops BMO Academy Centre
Brandon Tam London BMO Academy Centre
Camren Strang Newfoundland BMO Academy Centre
Elizabeth Hanson Saskatchewan BMO Academy Centre
Ellie Lancaster Nova Scotia BMO Academy Centre
Isaac Boehmer Okanagan BMO Academy Centre
Joe Hanson Yukon BMO Academy Centre
Kimia Kassanda Alberta BMO Academy Centre
Kyle Steenstra Alberta BMO Academy Centre
Mihail Gherasimencov BMO Whitecaps FC MLS Academy
Molly Mertin Northwest BMO Academy Centre
Owen Antoniuk Alberta BMO Academy Centre
Riad Jaha PEI BMO Academy Centre
Sarina Tait Kelowna BMO Academy Centre
Taya Short Kootenays West BMO Academy Centre
Thomas Hasal Saskatchewan BMO Academy Centre

Click here and find a Whitecaps FC BMO Academy Centre program near you.