Whitecaps phenom Alphonso Davies becomes Canadian citizen
Davies, 16, is the youngest player to score a goal in the USL and the CONCACAF Champions League
The Vancouver Whitecaps FC has confirmed that one of its star homegrown midfielders has received his Canadian citizenship.
Alphonso Davies, 16, took his oath of citizenship in Vancouver on Tuesday.
"It's a great honour to be able to call myself a Canadian citizen," the player said in a statement. "Not many people can say they're a Canadian citizen, knowing that it's one of the best countries in the world. I'm very proud that I'm one of those people."
The Canadian men's national team called Davies up within hours, inviting him to join Whitecaps teammates Russell Tiebert and Marcel de Jong at a camp in Montreal later this month.
Davies was born in a refugee camp in Central Ghana to Liberian parents fleeing the Liberian civil war.
When he was five, his family moved to Windsor, Ont. before settling in Edmonton, Alta., where Davies started playing soccer.
He first represented his adopted country for a U-15 identification camp in 2014, when he was a year younger than the rest of the players.
Davies went on to start for Canada's U-20 team, captain Canada's U-17 side and be named Canadian U-17 player of the year. He's also the youngest player to score a goal in the United Soccer League, the Canadian Championship and the CONCACAF Champions League.
The midfielder first joined the Whitecaps residency program in August 2015, making his team debut during last year's Canadian Championship semifinal.
"I'm proud of him," his mother, Victoria, said in a statement. "If I look back, where we came from, refugee camp, no food, no clothes, and where we are today ... He has everything that he needs."
When you put on that <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CanadaRED?src=hash">#CanadaRED</a> jersey for the first time... <a href="https://t.co/75UYfgti5g">pic.twitter.com/75UYfgti5g</a>—@CanadaSoccerEN
Davies said he's "extremely thankful" to his parents for "everything they've done" over the years.
"This is our home. This is where I grew up. And now to have the opportunity to represent the men's national team is a great honour," he said.