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Hundal will return for second season VFC opener

But not as a Vancouver player

Shaan Hundal is expected to take the field when Vancouver FC begins its second second season at Willoughby Community Park in Langley on Sunday, April 14. at 4 p.m.

But this time, the forward who made history when he scored the first-ever goal in the club’s history, as well as the team’s first goal at its new Langley stadium, won’t be wearing a Vancouver jersey.

Hundal, who was unhappy about being displaced by Mexican striker Alejandro Diaz, signed a multi-year deal with the Winnipeg team as a free agent immediately after the 2023 season wrapped up.

“It was a no-brainer to get out of that situation,” Hundal said in an interview posted to the Valour website.

“We had already decided in September that I wasn’t going to come back. The coach and I had a bit of a love-hate relationship.”

The 24-year-old appeared in all 28 VFC matches last season, scoring six goals, which tied for the team lead.

READ ALSO: VFC: Langley sports story of the year

VFC announced the date for its second-season home opener against Valour on Thursday, Jan. 18.

Vancouver and Valour finished just three points apart last season, spending most of 2023 neck and neck in the CPL standings, with VFC winning four of their final six matches, including their last meeting, to overtake Valour in the standings.

The Eagles’ full regular season schedule, presented by WestJet, will be announced Tuesday, Jan. 23rd. Tickets to Vancouver’s 2024 home opener can be purchased through this link.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Second-season version of Vancouver FC begins to take shape

Vancouver’s season opener will mark the debut of East Vancouver native Ben Fisk as a VFC player, and the first professional game by 15-year-old phenomenon Grady McDonnell.

VFC Head Coach Afshin Ghotbi, who has been busy building a new roster, is looking forward to it.

“I will speak for everyone at VFC that we cannot wait to step onto the field on Apr. 14 and begin our journey towards the CPL summit this season,” said Ghotbi. “We have assembled an exciting selection that’s bubbling with quality, experience and youth, and a perfect mixture of the local best and inspired international players.”

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Vancouver FC signs Ben Fisk, first new addition to roster

READ ALSO: Vancouver FC signs 15-year-old