Last season, fans of FC Tampa Bay were treated to the developing talents of Long Tan. The native of Dalian, China played 25 league matches with Tampa Bay in 2010, scoring three goals and adding two assists. Tan’s talents gained the attention of several clubs, and he was transferred to the Vancouver Whitecaps, who moved from the NASL to MLS this past offseason. FC Tampa Bay received an undisclosed transfer fee when the player moved to MLS.
This past Saturday, Tan made his first MLS start in the Whitecaps 1-0 loss to New England. On March 26th, Tan has become the first Chinese player ever to feature in an MLS match when he came off the bench as a substitute against the Philadelphia Union.
“We are pleased to see that Long Tan has been given the opportunity to contribute to the Whitecaps success early in the season. Being this is the Caps first year in the league, I think Long is poised to continue to have an impact on their accomplishments going forward,” said FC Tampa Bay Technical Director Perry Van Der Beck.
Tan’s continued growth and development is testament to the emphasis on player development in the NASL and at FC Tampa Bay.