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 – April

Name: Sarah ElRafih
Birth Year: 2007
What her coaches say: “Sarah has been developing really well in our Calgary Academy for the past year now. She has grown in confidence and her approach to training has become very professional. Her dedication has seen an improved technical foundation especially when receiving with space in front. Her consistency in delivering short to mid range passes in training sessions has been really impressive. Sarah should be feeling confident into the outdoor season and believe that she is going to be one of the star players when she plays because she certainly has the quality! Keep it up Sarah!”
Name: Porter Cuthbertson
Birth Year: 2010
What his coaches say: “Porter has been a part of our centres for a couple of years now and has become a shining light of our CMSA Academy in Calgary. Porter especially excels in areas of first touch efficiency and short to mid range penetrate passing. Porter has great ability to receive in different scenarios on the pitch and break into space quickly with a turn of pace. This is a unique skill of his and gives him an advantage over others. Porter should continue to hone his 1v1 attacking skills and generally continue to spend time building up his ball mastery. His attitude to training is also first class and we are excited to continue to develop him in our club!”
Name: Jack Simonton
Birth Year: 2005
What his coaches say: “Jack is great to coach. His mentality towards improving his game both on and off the field is top notch. He is without doubt one of the hardest workers in the room whatever the environment is, added to that he is now understanding the technical and tactical aspects of the game more. Jack is fantastic to coach as you know 100% that every session you are getting his all, and a continued outlook mirroring this will no doubt help Jack achieve his dream of continuing soccer post high school and beyond. Great work again Simmo”
Name: Clara Monck
Birth Year: 2008
What her coaches say: “Clara has been a longstanding member of our Academy Centre in Calgary and is a passionate and skilled individual. Clara is the type of player who excels in various player actions especially – receiving to turn, passing to break lines and shooting. Clara is versatile and can play midfield and forward such is her high level of game intellect. A specific area that Clara can work on is slowing her momentum down when she comes to meet a ball which has been zipped across the pitch at pace. Sometimes, she can come on to the ball with too much energy and needs to take the tension out of her stride just before meeting the ball. Keep up the good work, it is exciting to develop your game Clara!”
Name: Carmine Colabella
Birth Year: 2009
What his coaches say: “Carmine has steadily become a standout in our environment with a series of eye-catching training performance lately. Carmine has tremendous coordination and balance which helps with his ability to change direction with the ball and he has a natural flow and relationship with the ball when he glides through space. Carmine has a really positive and hard-working mindset to training and has a large capacity to learn. We are looking forward to helping Carmine achieve his dream of playing at a higher level one day! Keep it up Carmine! “
Name: Maddy Landgraff
Birth Year: 2008
What her coaches say: “Maddy has shown an excellent attitude over the past month. She arrives to practice eager to get started and has really shown excellent leadership qualities. She has really shown excellent technical ability with her ability to pass over short and long distances and her shot is getting better and better! Well done on a great week!”
Kootenay West
Name: Lennox Lockhurst
Birth Year: 2003
What her coaches say: “Lennox has been a fantastic player for our Caps to College program since its inception 3 years ago. Now a captain of our Senior Girls team, Lennox has established herself as a leader on and off the field and brings tons of passion and competitiveness to every training session. For next fall, Lennox has earned a place on the University of Regina women’s soccer team, an achievement we are all very proud of. Well done Lennox!”
Kootenay East
Name: Keanu Chan
Birth Year: 2007
What his coaches say: “Despite the ongoing challenges of COVID and socially distanced training, Keanu has continued to push himself and make the most out of this time. He consistently shows up to training with a positive attitude and at training, he shows a great work rate and commitment. This attitude has helped him improve and learn new techniques over the last month. Well done Keanu! “
Kootenay South
Name: Josie Clayden
Birth Year: 2005
What her coaches say: “Josie has been with our Whitecaps academy for a number of years and is beginning to establish herself as one of the most talented players in the region. This has been achieved through her tremendous hard work and dedication she brings to each and every training session. Josie is a tireless competitor and it raises the level of those around her. Congrats on the award, Josie. Very well-deserved!”
Name: Naomi Langille
Birth Year: 2008
What her coaches say: “Naomi has a great personality, she is hard worker, committed and possess very good technical and physical skills. She is very comfortable under pressure, particularly with her turning ability and first touch. Further, she possesses an excellent weight of pass which is useful when we look to play out from the back and break the initial lines of pressure. In short, I think she has been an inspiration and a model to the other players, particularly throughout this period of online programming and uncertainty”
Name: Lucas Gibb
Birth Year: 2005
What his coaches say: “Lucas Gibb has served as an inspiration to his teammates where his constant commitment to improve and develop drives those around him to do the same. A ball-playing CB, Lucas is comfortable both dribbling and passing the ball out of defense, where his willingness to guide others and reinforce key coaching messages/player habits have not gone unnoticed. Ever-present at both the field and online sessions, his desire to learn and action the feedback he receives is first-rate. For setting such high standards, the club would like to recognize and celebrate Lucas.”
Mainland Academy – Girls
Name: Chloe Cechini
Birth Year: 2010
What her coaches say: “Chloe has been with the Academy and Prospects for many years now, and has shown great strides in her development over the last phase. She is a very committed and dedicated player. She comes to every session with a great attitude and mindset to get better. Chloe has come great lengths with her vision and awareness and ability to recognize pressure, along with many other player habits. Well done Chloe! Keep working hard! “
Mainland Academy – Boys
Name: Crosby Oakes
Birth Year: 2010
What his coaches say: “Crosby is a consistent performer every session he is with us. He is always ready to work hard and learn as much as he can every session and he is very committed to his development as a player. Crosby’s player habits are really coming along, keep up the great work Crosby.”
Name: Peter Hansen
Birth Year: 2010
What his coaches say: “Peter has had a fantastic year in the UBC Academy Centre. Peter shows up every week, ready to listen, learn and apply himself to the best of his ability. Peter is very strong technically and possesses a solid foundation in and out of possession. Peter has an excellent range of passing and is very good in 1v1 situations. Well done Peter and keep up the great work! As always, it’s been a pleasure working with you.”
Fraser Valley
Name: Karly-Ann Richardson
Birth Year: 2010
What her coaches say: “Karly-Ann lives and breathes soccer on a daily basis. Karly-Ann shows up every week, ready to give 100% in every activity on the pitch. Karly-Ann is a leader in the group, always ready to demonstrate and add input with a smile on her face. Karly-Ann is strong technically and has excelled in tight areas under pressure. Karly-Ann’s vision and awareness and scanning have continued developing to the next level over the course of the season. Well done Karly-Ann and keep up the excellent work!”

Name: Luca Aiello
Birth Year: 2005
What his coaches say: “Luca has made big strides over the last 12 months in many different areas of the game. Luca has been very consistent lately with his on field performances and he is a great leader and role model for the younger players. Keep pushing the level every session Luca!”

Name: Hannah Neville
Birth Year: 2006
What her coaches say: “A very creative, two-footed player with outstanding dribbling and shooting qualities. Extremely dangerous in and around the box as she works tight pockets very effectively.”
Prince George
Name: Xavier Rocha
Birth Year: 2006
What his coaches say: “Xavier is our April player of the month for his work ethic and mental strength. Having journeyed through a development phase over the past year where he grew both physically and cognitively, Xavier stayed true to the teachings and took many challenges head-on. As we enter our Spring Academy program, Xavier has grown into a leader within our Academy group and is quickly becoming a true young professional. His reliability, ability to self-reflect, use of sport performance psychology techniques, and dedication to daily work on the ball, has quickly moved him up the performance ladder. We thank Xavier for his performance achievements and look forward to his growth during the outdoor season.”
Name: Rowan Kucyk
Birth Year: 2007
What his coaches say: “Since joining the NS Whitecaps Academy Centre in January, Rowan has consistently been a top performer and he continues to improve all the time. His effort and attitude, along with his speed and technical ability, allow him to take in new information and attempt to implement it in every activity and game he is involved in. Congratulations Rowan!”
Name: Ava Kavonen
Birth Year: 2007
What her coaches say: “Ava is a fantastic young player. Although not the biggest, she always holds her own against players bigger than herself. Ava’s real skills are on the ball. She has a brilliant first touch, which allows her to either pass, dribble or shoot with great accuracy immediately afterward. Add this skillset to her amazing attitude and you have a very gifted young footballer. Ava is a joy to coach, she always has a smile on her face and we love having her with the SK Prospects program. Great job Ava!”
Name: Jackson Kovitch
Birth Year: 2007
What his coaches say: “Jackson is one of the youngest members of our MLS Academy program here in SK, although you would never believe it seeing him on the field. He leads by example, always bringing 100% effort for the entirety of the session and demanding the same from his teammates. At the same time as being all in, he always has a smile! As well as his incredible attitude, Jackson also has some amazing skills on the ball. A midfielder who can both defend and attack, Jackson is happiest breaking forward with the ball through the midfield. Finally, to summarize Jackson as a person, the athletes were given a free platform to work in an app on their skills and fitness. Jackson currently leads not just the MLS Program, but the province for the hours put in. Keep up the hard-work Jackson.”
Name: Emma Brine
Birth Year: 2009
What her coaches say: “Emma has really improved her technical skills and player habits. She has excellent athleticism, good decision making and always has a positive attitude in training. It’s great to see how much Emma has developed throughout the program and is a great inspiration to players and coaches with her dedication and commitment to raise her game to the next level.”
Name: Jack Nykyforchyn
Birth Year: 2010
What his coaches say: “Jack has excellent technical ability and demonstrates good awareness with his passing and decision making on and off the ball. Jack excels at 1v1 defending and has real grit and determination in his game play. He has a fantastic work ethic, is very coachable and has a wonderful appetite for the game.”
Name: Ava Degrand
Birth Year: 2007
What her coaches say: “Ava is a joy to work with online, she is always on pushing her skills to new heights. Ava has had a great few months and is her improvements are noticeable. Keep up the great work online and making a difference on the pitch.”
Name: Denver Flood
Birth Year: 2008
What his coaches say: “Denver has a great attitude and mindset during training. He has really improved his ability to receive and turn with all parts of both feet. Denver has also improved on his creative moves and freestyles a lot of over the last few months. Keep working hard and keeping enjoying the process!”
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

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