VANCOUVER — Former Canadian national team player and Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame member Nick Dasovic has joined the Vancouver Whitecaps’ technical staff. Dasovic will also be named head coach of the newly-formed U-23 development squad.
“Nick is a highly regarded and engaged coach who is very invested in the development of Canadian players,” Whitecaps vice president of soccer operations Greg Anderson said. “He is a Canadian Soccer Hall of Famer, and his experience at the highest levels both as a player and as a coach will be invaluable as we strengthen the pathway from our academy to the first team.”
Dasovic, who holds a UEFA Pro coaching license, has more than 30 years of experience as a player and a coach. The former midfielder played professionally in former Yugoslavia, Scotland, Sweden, France, the United States and Canada before hanging up his boots in 2005 while playing for the Whitecaps.
The former midfielder also represented Canada 63 times and was inducted into Canada’s Soccer Hall of Fame in 2011. He also was selected as one of the top 100 men’s footballers during Canada Soccer’s centennial celebrations in 2012.
Dasovic joined the Whitecaps as a player-coach in 2002. At the MLS level, he was an assistant coach with both Toronto FC and San Jose Earthquakes, as well as in the academy for TFC and later as interim first-team head coach in 2010.
Internationally, Dasovic has served as an assistant coach with Canada’s senior men’s national team, as well as head coach of the U-20 and U-23 national teams, the former of which he worked with current Whitecaps assistant coach Phillip Dos Santos.
Most recently, Dasovic was an assistant coach with the Simon Fraser University men’s soccer team, as well as a coach with BC Soccer Premier League club Mountain United FC.
"With my experiences as a player, I really had to scrape and fight and claw for everything I got in my life so I can hopefully instill that into the players. It’s not easy, it’s a fight. But if you do fight and do things correctly there’s a chance you can make it."#VWFC pic.twitter.com/0Jb6lKZY5G
— Vancouver Whitecaps (@WhitecapsFC) January 18, 2019
“We’re thrilled to welcome Nick back to the club,” added Whitecaps president Bob Lenarduzzi. “His ability to work with young players combined with his experiences and relationships in the Canadian soccer community make him a perfect fit for this role,” Lenarduzzi concluded.
The Whitecaps U-23 development squad kicked off this past fall, primarily featuring up-and-coming first team players and top prospects from the academy while playing matches against local and international competition throughout the year.
The Caps also announced that they would no longer be affiliated with the USL franchise Fresno FC.
“Fresno have been nothing but professional throughout our relationship this past year,” added Lenarduzzi. “We want to thank owner Ray Beshoff, general manager Frank Yallop, and head coach Adam Smith and we wish them the very best for this coming season and beyond.”