Parker, 21, joins Whitecaps FC after spending four seasons with the St. John’s University Red Storm of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) Big East Conference.
The 6-foot-2, 195-pound centre back appeared in 79 of 80 Red Storm matches over the past four seasons, starting all but one of his appearances. Parker finished with four goals, two game-winners, and four assists, while anchoring a back line that posted 30 clean sheets. He also helped lead St. John’s to three straight NCAA Tournament appearances (2011-2013) and the 2011 Big East Tournament title.
A native of Hicksville, New York native, Parker earned Big East honours in each of his four seasons with the Red Storm, including first-team honours as a senior and junior. He was also the program’s first three-time NSCAA All-Region selection since Chris Wingert (2001-2003).
Parker, who captained the Red Storm this past season, earned a pair of first-team NSCAA All-Region selections to go along with a third-team nod as a senior. Also of note, the defender led St. John’s in minutes played in two of his four seasons at the school.
Prior to his collegiate career, Parker was named a second team ESPN RISE All-American and was the Gatorade New York Boys Soccer Player of the Year. He was also a member of the United States U-18 men’s national team pool.
Banjo, 22, joins Whitecaps FC after four seasons in the NCAA, split between Towson University and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County Retrievers (UMBC). He spent his first three seasons with the Towson Tigers before transferring to UMBC for his senior year – Towson’s men’s soccer team was discontinued at the end of 2012. In total, Banjo started 62 of 65 of his appearances in the NCAA, totaling 23 goals and 17 assists.
This past season, Banjo led the Retrievers to the College Cup Final Four for the first time in the program’s history after starting all 22 of his appearances and recording a team-high eight goals and six assists. The 6-foot, 186-pound striker finished atop the America East conference in total points, assists, and game-winning goals (four) and as a result was named the America East Striker of the Year by unanimous vote. He was also named to the All-America East and NCSAA All-East Region first teams.
Prior to joining UMBC in 2014, Banjo recorded 15 goals and 11 assists in 43 total appearances with the Towson Tigers. Accolades during his time at Towson include All-CAA honours (first team, second team, and third team) in each of his three years and a CAA All-Rookie Team nod in 2010.
Banjo, who completed his degree in sports management at Towson before transferring to UMBC, is a dual citizen of the United States and Nigeria. Both his parents are Nigerian but he was born in Washington, DC.
Position: Centre back
Weight: 195 pounds
Date of Birth: February 23, 1993
Hometown: Hicksville, New York
Citizenship: United States
Last Club: St. John’s Red Storm
How Acquired: Selected 13th overall in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft by Whitecaps FC
Weight: 186 pounds
Date of Birth: December 3, 1992 in Washington, DC
Hometown: Upper Marlboro, Maryland
Citizenship: United States / Nigeria
Last Club: University of Maryland, Baltimore County Retrievers (UMBC)
How Acquired: Selected 38th overall in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft by Whitecaps FC