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Vancouver Whitecaps sign trio of youngsters

Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced today that goalkeeper Brian Sylvestre, defender Bilal Duckett, defender/midfielder Jeb Brovsky have all been signed to the club's Major League Soccer roster - pending their international transfer certificates.

"Brian, Bilal, and Jeb are quality young players that work hard in every training session," said Whitecaps FC head coach Teitur Thordarson. "They have the qualities that you look for in a player. They have great attitudes, are athletic, and have good technique. These three players will complement our squad very well for our first season in MLS."

Sylvestre, 18, joins Whitecaps FC's MLS roster as the club's third homegrown player signing alongside midfielders Philippe Davies and Nizar Khalfan. In February 2010, the native of Hollywood, Florida, arrived in Vancouver as a member of the Whitecaps FC Residency program. In March 2010, he started all three of the Residency team's matches in the U-19 Super Group of Dallas Cup XXXI. Those appearances came against Germany's Eintracht Frankfurt, United States national team (91/92) (Mar. 29), and Mexican national team (91/92). This past January, Sylvestre participated in a training camp with the USA U-20 national team in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"I am very excited and looking forward to continuing my development with Vancouver," said Sylvestre. "The club has lot of history in the city and they provide a great environment for players to continue to develop."

Duckett, 22, joins the 'Caps after being the top pick in the third round (37th overall) of the 2011 MLS SuperDraft on January 13. A native of Peachtree City, Georgia, Duckett was the starting right fullback with the University of Notre Dame during his junior and senior year. Speedy and athletic, the 6-foot-2, 165-pound defender was a Big East Conference Academic All-Star selection as a member of the Fighting Irish in 2009 and 2010.

"It's a dream come true for me to join Whitecaps FC and Major League Soccer," said Duckett. "The club and the city have really welcomed me since I arrived in late January, and I can't wait for the season to start."

Brovsky, 22, formally becomes a member of Teitur Thordarson's squad after initially being selected as the top pick in the second round (19th overall) of this year's SuperDraft. The native of Lakewood, Colorado, makes the jump to MLS after a stellar NCAA Division I career at the University of Notre Dame. He was named to the 2010 All-Big East Conference First Team in his senior year with the Fighting Irish, while he was also a three-time member of the All-Big East Conference Championship Team and a four-time Big East Conference Academic All-Star selection.

"I could not be happier," said Brovsky. "It has been a dream of mine to play professionally since I was four years old. Vancouver is a beautiful city, the Whitecaps are a first-class club, and I am looking forward to the reaction we receive come when we kick off on March 19."

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