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VIDEO: Youngest league player scores 1 for Vancouver FC

Next pro soccer game on home pitch in Langley Saturday afternoon
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Maple Ridge’s T.J. Tahid, 16, (with the ball) scored the lone goal in Wednesday night’s game between his Vancouver FC soccer team and hosting Valour FC in Winnipeg. (CPL/Special to Langley Advance Times)

A 1-0 victory over Winnipeg’s Valour FC didn’t come soon enough in the season to secure a playoff spot for Langley’s new pro soccer team, but Vancouver Football Club’s head coach Afshin Ghotbi will celebrate the win – all the same.

VFC was in the Prairies on Wednesday night, for the fourth to last game of the season, where 16-year-old Maple Ridge soccer phenom Taryck “T.J.” Tahid secured the expansion team’s triumph with the game’s lone goal about 78 minutes into the match.

It’s been a big week for Tahid, who reached another career milestone, too. He was called up by Canada’s U17 men’s national team for an upcoming friendly series this weekend in Brazil.

READ: Team Canada calls up Vancouver FC’s teen star player

Wednesday’s match pits the bottom two CPL sides against one another, with Vancouver emerging victorious.

These two teams last met in Langley in early August, where they tied 0-0, and before that they met up in Winnipeg in late June, where Valour triumphed 1-0, and in Vancouver in late May where they again shared a scoreless tie.

Having been officially eliminated from playoff contention last weekend hardly means the last few weeks of the season are not vitally important for Vancouver FC, Ghotbi said ahead of the Manitoba mid-week match. The head coach was back on the touchline for this match after serving a one-match suspension for yellow card accumulation.

In explaining the significance of Wednesday’s game, Ghotbi said a key reasons is the chance to continue to evaluate the current roster as they plan out which positions and spots are filled, and which will need to be addressed this offseason.

As a result, Ghotbi said a certain amount of lineup rotation is likely.

“Now that we have several games that are going to determine which players we stay with and which players we move on from, we will give some players that haven’t played as much so an opportunity to play, if they have shown in training that they deserve it,” he said.

Vancouver FC will be playing again this Saturday afternoon, on their home pitch at Willoughby Stadium (next to Langley Events Centre). They’ll be taking on the Halifax Wanderers starting at 1 p.m.

Most home games have a theme, and ahead of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, VFC is using this game to bring awareness to the Indigenous culture. Guests are encouraged to wear their orange shirts.

Tickets for the home game are still available online at vancouverfc.canpl.ca.

The final two games of the season are Saturday, Sept. 30 in Victoria, where they take on Pacific FC, and then they wrap up their first year with a game on home pitch in Langley against Ontario’s York United. That game is set for 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 6.

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READ MORE: Vancouver FC fall to Forge



Roxanne Hooper

About the Author: Roxanne Hooper

I began in the news industry at age 15, but honestly, I knew I wanted to be a community journalist even before that.
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