The Vancouver Whitecaps, who are gearing up for their first season in Major League Soccer, announced today the signing of former FC Tampa Bay midfielder/forward Long Tan to their 2011 MLS squad, along with Tampa native Blake Wagner. Vancouver acquired Tan's USSF D-2 rights from FC Tampa Bay for an undisclosed cash transfer fee as part of the deal that brought Ricardo Sanchez and Jonny Steele in July 2010 to Tampa Bay.
"They are both still young players that are developing," said Whitecaps FC Head Coach Teitur Thordarson on the two signings. "Long Tan is a different type of striker. He is difficult to handle because he works very hard and he is technically sound."
Tan made his professional soccer debut on April 16, 2010 against Crystal Palace Baltimore in FC Tampa Bay’s inaugural season opener. Tan closed out the 2010 season with 1,726 minutes played in 25 games, including 22 starts, three goals and two assists. He finished second on the squad for shots with 42 and fourth for points scored with eight.
Tan, who is a former Chinese youth national team member, played for the FC Atlanta Blackhawks in the USL PDL where he was a top goal scorer with seven goals in 14 matches before joining FC Tampa Bay.
Tan first joined the Whitecaps during their six-week training camp back in November and rejoined them for their preseason training in Arizona and Vancouver.