It’s not every day you win a trophy on your big league debut.
Saskatoon’s Brett Levis made his Major League Soccer debut as a substitute in a 4-1 win for his Vancouver Whitecaps over the Portland Timbers on Sunday. With the win, Vancouver also claimed the Cascadia Cup, an annual competition with nearby rivals Seattle and Portland.
“It felt great to make my MLS debut in front of 24,000 fans at BC Place,” Levis said postgame.
Levis signed with the Whitecaps exactly two months ahead of his debut, joining the big club on Aug. 23 after a stint with Vancouver’s second team.
“I’ve worked really hard this year, moving up from Whitecaps FC 2 and making a great run in the USL Playoffs,” Levis said.
Levis made his first team debut in a friendly with English Premier League side Crystal Palace and also played in Vancouver’s CONCACAF Champions league games. But he had not yet appeared in an MLS game for the Whitecaps.
Until Sunday that is, the former University of Saskatchewan player came on in the 83rd minute to replace Giles Barnes at left-midfield to preserve his team’s 4-1 lead. The TV broadcast of the game allowed for Levis’ friends and family in Saskatchewan to be a part of the milestone, something not lost on the 23-year-old.
“I’m thankful for the great support I’ve had, starting back in Saskatchewan with my friends and family and with Bryce (Chapman, head coach of the U of S men’s soccer team),” he said.
Since joining the Whitecaps, Levis has shown to be a prospect ready to make the jump to the professional game. Head coach Carl Robinson has complimented the left footed player for his willingness to learn and adapt. The Whitecaps have been working with the offensively gifted player on his defensive game, and transitioning him to a left sided defender.
With Levis’ appearance coming on the last game of the regular season and the Whitecaps missing the playoffs, he is focused on sticking with the big club for all of 2017.
“I’m going to keep working hard and try to see how far I can go.”