Derek Cornelius

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Derek Cornelius
Personal information
Full name Derek Austin Cornelius[1]
Date of birth (1997-11-25) 25 November 1997 (age 21)
Place of birth Ajax, Ontario, Canada
Height 187 cm (6 ft 2 in)
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current team
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Number 13
Youth career
2009–2011 Spartacus SC
2011–2013 Unionville Milliken
2014 VfB Lübeck
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2015–2016 VfB Lübeck 1 (0)
2016 VfR Neumünster 17 (2)
2017–2019 Javor Ivanjica 28 (0)
2019– Vancouver Whitecaps FC 8 (1)
National team
2018– Canada U23 4 (0)
2018– Canada 8 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 17 July 2019
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 30 June 2019

Derek Austin Cornelius (born 25 November 1997) is a Canadian soccer player who plays for Vancouver Whitecaps FC in Major League Soccer.

Club career[edit]


Cornelius was born in Ajax, Ontario to a Barbadian father and a Jamaican mother.[2] Cornelius started playing when he was selected for the 1996 House League All-Star team.[3] Then he got selected by Ajax Thunder under-8 at six years old.[3] Next season he was the Unionville Milliken Challenge Cup Champions Most Valuable Player.[3] Next year he moved to North York Spartacus and reached 2nd Place in the Indoor League. Next season at U11 he won the C.O.V.I. Championship and was proclaimed the Most Valuable Player.[3]

In 2012, he played in the Oviedo Cup with PFC CSKA Moscow in Spain, then he played in the Milk Cup by CSKA Moscow in Northern Ireland where he led the team scoring four goals in the tournament. He ended that year by being invited to the CSKA Moscow Reserve Camp and by playing in the U21 Provincial and Men's Regional leagues, scoring 22 goals in 30 games.[3]

In 2013, he was selected for Canadian national under-17 team for camp in Florida and Costa Rica, and later selected for CONCACAF World Cup U17 Qualifier pre-camp in Florida. He was also selected for Canadian National U16 Team for Torneo delle Nazioni tournament in Italy. That same year he was invited to Hungary for trials with Nyíregyháza Spartacus FC and Győri ETO FC in March.[3]


In January 2014, he moved to Germany. He began training with VfB Lübeck U19 team.[4] He then got upgraded to play with the main team in the seasons 2015–16 and first half of 2016–17.[5] With VfB Lübeck he won the Schleswig-Holstein Cup two years in a row and made an appearance in the 2015–16 Regionalliga Nord.[6]

In summer 2016 he moved to VfR Neumünster playing with them the first half of the season.[5]


During the winterbreak of the 2016–17 season, after trials, Cornelius was signed by Serbian top-league side FK Javor Ivanjica. He made his debut in the 2016–17 Serbian SuperLiga on 29 April 2017, in an away game against FK Radnički Niš.[6][7]

Return to Canada[edit]

On 18 January 2019, Cornelius returned to his native Canada and signed with MLS side Vancouver Whitecaps FC.[8] He made his debut for the Whitecaps on 2 March in their 2019 MLS season opener against Minnesota United.[9]

International career[edit]


Derek Cornelius was part of the Canadian U17 camp in February 2013.[10] He was called up to a U23 camp on 8 January 2018.[11] In May 2018, Cornelius was named to Canada's under-21 squad for the 2018 Toulon Tournament.[12] Cornelius would earn rave reviews for his performance at the tournament.[13]


On 12 March 2018, Cornelius received his first call up to the Canadian senior side for a friendly against New Zealand to be played on 24 March 2018.[14] He would make his debut for Canada on 9 September 2018, starting and playing the entire match in an 8-0 victory over the U.S. Virgin Islands.[15][16] On 30 May 2019, Cornelius was named to the 23-man squad for the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup.[17]


VfB Lübeck


  1. ^ "40-Player National Team Roster: 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup: Canada" (PDF). CONCACAF. p. 2. Retrieved 20 May 2019 – via Bernews.
  2. ^ "Canada Soccer".
  3. ^ a b c d e f Experience And Accomplishments at, Retrieved 5 November 2017
  4. ^ Profile at, Retrieved 5 November 2017
  5. ^ a b Derek Cornelius at
  6. ^ a b c Derek Cornelius at Soccerway
  7. ^ Vujcic, Djuradj (4 August 2017). "Canadian Derek Cornelius on professional debut in Serbia". Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  8. ^
  9. ^ Dailey, Mark (2 March 2019). "9 players make Whitecaps debut in MLS season opener".
  10. ^ Canada M17 announces roster for February camp at Canada Soccer, 31 January 2013
  11. ^ "Canada Soccer's Men's National Team Program announces U-23 camp squad". 8 January 2018.
  12. ^ Alicia Rodriguez (19 May 2018). "Canada national team roster for prestigious Toulon Tournament released". Major League Soccer.
  13. ^ Peter Galindo (8 June 2018). "Four things we learned about Canada at Toulon Tournament". Sprotsnet.
  14. ^ Boehm, Charles (12 March 2018). "Canada call up 10 MLSers for Herdman's first camp, New Zealand friendly".
  15. ^ "Canada cruises to record win in Concacaf Nations League opener". 9 September 2018.
  16. ^ Derek Cornelius at
  17. ^ "Together We Rise: Canada Soccer announces squad for the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup". 30 May 2019.