Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23 began their competitive life as Whitecaps FC Reserves in the Pacific Coast Soccer League in 2005, and were immediately competitive. As the official development team of the Vancouver WhitecapsUSL First Division club, they had the pick of the local youth soccer talent, and this translated to results on the field. They won the North Division title in their freshman season with a 10–2–4 record, finishing three points clear of second place Hibernian & Caledonian. However, they lost the championship title match against Victoria United, and had to be content with second place. Andrew Corrazza was Whitecaps' top scorer, tallying 15 goals for the season.
The PCSL reverted to a single-table format in 2006, but the change in structure did not distract the Whitecaps, who took their first league championship title with an 11–2–1 record, finishing four points clear of FK Pacific in second place and Vancouver Thunderbirds in third.
The team spent the 2007 season in hiatus, preparing for their PDL debut in 2008. In joining the PDL in 2008, the Whitecaps became the first team to make the PCSL to PDL jump.
Vancouver's first season in the PDL was an impressive one; they rattled off three wins out of the gate, including an impressive 4–1 victory over 2007 divisional champions BYU Cougars. Their 4–0 loss to Tacoma Tide at the beginning of June would prove to be costly at the end of the season, but despite this slight stutter the Whitecaps continued to post impressive results. They outclassed local rivals Abbotsford Rangers 4–1, exacted revenge on Tacoma with a 5–1 thumping that included a hat-trick from striker Randy Edwini-Bonsu, put another five past Cascade Surge in early July, and knocked off title contenders Yakima Reds 4–1 on the road. At this point the divisional title looked to be theirs for the taking, but two surprising defeats in their last three league games – 0–3 at Spokane Shadow and then 0–1 at Ogden Outlaws in the final game of the season – allowed Tacoma to pip them at the post and take the divisional title on goal difference. Nevertheless, Vancouver travelled to Fresno for the Western Conference playoffs, where they faced the San Fernando Valley Quakes in the semi final, who they beat 3–1 in extra time, after scoring an equalizer with virtually the last kick of normal time thanks to Randy Edwini-Bonsu. They comfortably dispatched Tacoma Tide 4–1 to take the Western Conference title with another brace from Edwini-Bonsu, and travelled to Ontario to take on Central Conference champions Thunder Bay Chill for a place in the PDL Championship game. The first ever all-Canadian semi final went the way of the Chill, who scored a last minute winner to take the game 2–1 (and would eventually go on to win the national title). For the Whitecaps, however, it was a positive debut season in the PDL, and the future looks bright. The prolific Randy Edwini-Bonsu was top scorer for the season, with nine goals, while Gagandeep Dosanjh and Alex Semenets contributed 8 assists each.
This list of notable former players comprises players who went on to play professional soccer after playing for the team in the Premier Development League, or those who previously played professionally before joining the team.