The Vancouver Whitecaps have signed homegrown defender Sam Adekugbe to a contract.

The 18-year-old spent two seasons with the Whitecaps' residency program, starting 55 of his 57 appearances with the club's under-16 and under-18 teams. He will continue with the under-18 team until the end of its season.

"Sam is a fantastic young talent and someone we're all very excited to bring into the first team," Whitecaps head coach Martin Rennie said in a statement. "We've watched him closely over the past few years as he developed with our Residency program and we're very confident that he has a bright future ahead."

Adekugbe was a member of Canada's men's under-18 national team at the recent 2013 COTIF U-20 tournament in l'Alcudia, Spain. He is also set to attend the senior national team camp in Valencia, Spain, from Sept. 1-11.

Adekugbe was born in England and moved to Calgary with his family in 2004 at age nine. He received his Canadian permanent residency card on Friday.