The TRU Wolfpack men’s soccer team has landed another ground-breaking signing after news spread that Elijah Dos Santos, a member of the Vancouver Whitecaps youth residency program would be joining the Wolfpack for next season.
This comes as a cherry on top of the already solid lineup that head coach John Antulov has assembled to seriously compete for the national title, which the Wolfpack will be hosting in Kamloops.
“Obviously this is a great signing for us and the program. Elijah is an experienced player that will make an impact on our line up straight away,” Antulov stated. “With our recent success over the years, it is great that the youth Whitecaps players are choosing to come to our school over maybe the bigger ones in Vancouver.”
Dos Santos played most of his youth career in Port Coquitlam before joining the Whitecaps Academy for the 2019 season. The high-level daily training was instrumental to his development amongst the best players in Western Canada.
Due to the notoriety of the team, Dos Santos had his pick of which school to attend.
“Coming out of the Whitecaps, I had a lot of opportunities due to my MLS experience and background,” Dos Santos admitted. “I chose TRU because I felt it was the best environment for me to further my education while still continuing to develop in a best in class soccer program. Unquestionably, Mr. Antulov was at the forefront of my decision. My discussions with him made very clear his passion and commitment to both the program and his players. It was an easy decision after that.”
Dos Santos grew up in Kamloops and moved to Kelowna when he was seven years old before moving to Vancouver four years later.
His family has a history with the Wolfpack after both his father and mother won nationals for TRU soccer in the late 90s, back when it was called the University of Cariboo College. However, Dos Santos claimed their prior history in Kamloops did not play a role in his decision.
“My parents did not play a major factor in my decision as I wanted to go where I would be happy and grow not only as a footballer but as a man. They were very supportive throughout my whole recruitment process and were happy with my decision,” Dos Santos claimed. “They had said there is no better experience than playing university soccer in Canada as you make new connections and experience things you wouldn’t elsewhere.”
Keep a watchful eye out for Dos Santos and his debut season next September for the Wolfpack. Expected to make an immediate impact, the young rising star will be looking to help TRU have a successful 2021 season before they host nationals in 2022.