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Whitecaps add depth to the roster

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Brian Sylvestre is from Hollywood, Fla. But, in the eyes of the Vancouver Whitecaps, he’s a homegrown star in waiting.

Sylvestre was one of three signings made official by the Whitecaps on Tuesday, as the club fills out its roster ahead of Saturday’s season opener against Toronto FC.

The 18-year-old goalkeeper joined the Whitecaps Residency early last year, and has spent time auditioning for the U.S. U-20 team. He likely won’t see much time on the first team, as Jay Nolly moves with the team from Div. 2 to MLS, and veteran keeper Joe Cannon is also in the mix.

Brian Sylvestre

Sylvestre was a highly rated defensive end in high school, playing that other brand of football. There was interest from big schools like Florida, Florida State and Michigan State in getting him to play Div. 1 NCAA football with them.

The club also signed defender Bilal Duckett, who the Whitecaps picked in the third round of the 2011 SuperDraft. For Duckett, getting signed is a big accomplishment — after the first two rounds, the draft becomes a bit of a crapshoot. Any prospect chosen in the third round, or in the supplemental draft, is a wild card to make the club that picked him or not.

Defensive midfielder Jeb Brovsky, a teammate of Duckett’s at Notre Dame, was also signed. The Whitecaps grabbed him in the second round of the draft.

Like Sylvestre, the two Notre Dame prospects will likely spend more time playing in the reserve league than in the big show this season. But they provide needed cover as the torture test that is the new 34-game schedule, plus Nutrilite Canadian Championship, will no doubt take a toll on the squad.

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