Last week was a bad week for the Vancouver Whitecaps.
On Thursday, the club announced that two boys in their residency program have been charged with sexual assault and suspended
indefinitely after an alleged "serious incident" at their training facility.
The next day, MLS announced that veteran defender Sheanon Williams had been arrested on Thursday and
charged with assault in connection with an alleged domestic incident. He was suspended pending investigations by MLS and the Vancouver Police Department.
The mother of the alleged victim
told the Global News that her son was allegedly sexually assaulted by two teammates in the
locker room after practice. The Whitecaps said the incident, which the player's mother said took place on June 5, "was in clear contravention of the club's code of conduct."
Whitecaps' residency program is the oldest in MLS, predating their move to MLS in 2011. Most players hail from British Columbia but others are recruited from other Canadian provinces. They train at
the club's complex in Burnaby, attend classes conducted by the Burnaby Central Secondary elite athlete program and live with local families.
"The matter was referred to the RCMP [Royal
Canadian Mounted Police]," the club said in a statement. "The safety and well being of our players is our top priority and we have been cooperating fully with the RCMP investigation."
Williams will undergo an assessment by MLS’s Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program doctors, according to its usual protocols. After the assessment is complete and Major League Soccer
conducts its investigation, MLS will make a further determination concerning Williams’ status.