Whitecaps In-Depth: Young-Pyo Lee

A look into Vancouver's Young Pyo Lee, who has brought international success to the 'Caps
by Jake Vendramin   |   Wednesday, February 13, 2013

All Caps - column on Vancouver Whitecaps FC (VWFC) & the British Columbia soccer scene.

Young-Pyo Lee, also known as YP Lee, is a 35-year-old outside back who plays for the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Native of Hongcheon-gun, South Korea, YP Lee is definitely one of the Whitecaps most traveled players with experience playing for some of the biggest clubs in Europe such as: Borussia Dortmund, PSV Eindhoven and Tottenham Hotspurs.

Lee has also had a very impressive international career for South Korea as well, recording 127 caps between the years 1999 and 2011. Appearing in three FIFA World Cups, two CONCACAF Gold Cups (guest country) and three AFC Asian Cups.

YP Lee began his professional career with Korean K-League side Anyang LG Cheetahs (now FC Seoul) in 2000 after signing out of Konkuk University in Seoul.

After having a fantastic World Cup in 2002, he went, alongside the South Korean manager Guus Hiddink and South Korean legend Park Ji-Sung, to Eredivisie club PSV Eindhoven in the Netherlands. Lee was a part of the PSV squad who made it to the semi-finals of the 2005 UEFA Champions League competition, unfortunately being eliminated by Italian giants AC Milan.

After a successful three-season stint with PSV, Lee desired to move on to bigger and better things. In 2005, he signed with Premier League club Tottenham and was selected to the league’s Best XI in the first week of his first season with Spurs.

After making 70 appearances for Tottenham over three seasons, YP Lee was transferred to Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund in 2008 for an undisclosed fee. Lee was not particular successful with Dortmund, only playing 22 matches over a single campaign, so he was moved to Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal. He made 46 appearances over two seasons with the Saudi football club, Lee was offered a contract extension with Al-Hilal but opted not to re-sign.

Young-Pyo Lee officially signed with the Vancouver Whitecaps on Dec. 6, 2011, and tallied his first Major League Soccer goal from a free kick in a 1-0 victory over the Columbus Crew. Lee was an integral part of the 2012 Vancouver side that became the first ever-Canadian team to qualify for the MLS Playoffs. He was later named Whitecaps FC's player of the year at the end of the 2012 regular season.

YP Lee will be looking to replicate his good form from last year in the upcoming 2013 MLS season.

NEXT UP: Toronto FC, March 2, BC Place, 6:30 P.M., TSN.


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From the Langley area of Vancouver, Canada. An avid soccer player who is very passionate about the sport off-the-field as well. Absolutely loves writing about the beautiful game and sharing his opinions. Covers the Vancouver Whitecaps for Soccer Newsday.