Skip to content

2 Ontario players join new pro soccer team in Langley

Vancouver FC signs striker and left-back as fourth and fifth players ahead of their inaugural season
Kahlil John-Wentworth signs with the Langley-based Vancouver Football Club. (League1 Ontario/CPL)

Two Ontario players are the most recent to be signed to play for Langley’s new pro soccer team this coming season.

On Thursday, Vancouver Football Club announced Kahlil John-Wentworth as the fourth player to sign with the club ahead of its inaugural season in the Canadian Premier League.

Then on Friday, they followed it up with the announcement that Nathaniel St. Louis became the fifth player to be added to the club’s roster.

John-Wentworth, 21, most recently represented Simcoe County Rovers in League1 Ontario’s men’s premier division, where he logged 1,140 minutes over the course of the 2022 regular season and competed in the first two playoff matches in club history.

John-Wentworth scored one goal for Rovers in 2022 and was named to the League1 Ontario Team of the Week in Week 14.

He possesses the versatility to play all over the field, including as a left-back, at wingback or in midfield, said Vancouver FC head coach Afshin Ghotbi.

RELATED: CPL unveils newest franchise Vancouver FC, names first head coach

“I am very excited to begin my professional career with Vancouver FC,” said John-Wentworth.

“I look forward to learning from Afshin and the players around me as I get a feel for this next level of soccer, and to participate in the special experience that is playing for a club in its first season.”

Prior to his time with Simcoe County, John-Wentworth represented Vaughan Azzurri in League1 Ontario in 2021. He played collegiate soccer with Durham College in Oshawa, Ont. in 2019-2020 – one of the most successful seasons in program history that culminated in the program’s first Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association national championship banner.

John-Wentworth later transferred to Murray State College in Tishomingo, Okla., where he represented the Aggies in National Junior College Athletic Association division 1 play in his sophomore season in 2021. He was named first team all-region that May, after scoring six goals and adding five assists.

“Kahlil is an up-and-coming talent, who possesses great pace and a skilled left foot to go with his ability to create action on the field,” said Ghotbi.

“I am looking forward to seeing him develop at this level and believe he has the skills necessary for a bright future in the league and for his country,” added the coach.

Meanwhile, 23-year-old St. Louis most recently represented the University of Alabama at Birmingham in NCAA division I play.

The native of Toronto led the squad in nearly all attacking categories in 2022, including goals, points, shots, and shots on goal.

St. Louis’ numbers in 2022 were nearly identical to the stats he put up for the Blazers over the course of the 2021 season, after which he was named second team all-conference U.S.A.

St. Louis spent four seasons with the Blazers overall, after beginning his collegiate career at Syracuse University as a freshman, where he competed alongside future Canadian men’s national team stars Tajon Buchanan and Kamal Miler.

Before graduating to college-level soccer, St. Louis represented Vaughan Soccer Club and Markham Soccer Club in Ontario as a youth player.

“Nathaniel is an exciting young left-footed attacker who is goal dangerous with or without the ball thanks to his vertical movement,” said Ghotbi. “He has a bright future in the Canadian Premier League and beyond.”

St. Louis has previously trialed with Portugal’s S.L. Benfica and England’s West Ham United, but his new deal with Vancouver FC is his first as a professional.

“Signing with Vancouver FC is a dream come true,” said St. Louis.

“I am eager to get started with my new club and learn what it takes to compete and excel at the professional level. I can’t wait to see what we can do as a team in the club’s first season in the Canadian Premier League.”

Left-back/wingback John-Wentworth and striker St. Louis join goalkeeper Callum Irving, midfielder Elliot Simmons and striker Mamadou Kane on Vancouver’s ever-expanding roster, becoming the first player to sign with the club in 2023.

READ MORE: Vancouver FC sign first player

RELATED: Vancouver FC sign Simmons

The recent signings have Vancouver FC’s CEO Rob Friend excited about the upcoming season.

“We are just getting started when it comes to expanding our roster this year and are looking forward to sharing in the excitement of each and every announcement with our fans as we eagerly prepare for our first season in the league,” said Friend.

“Kahlil is another exciting young addition to our roster, with huge potential as an emerging player,” he noted. “And we look forward to playing a part in Nathaniel’s future development, as we are committed to doing with all our young Canadian players in an effort to play our part in furthering the professional careers of the talented athletes in this country.”

People can stay tuned to for the latest news and updates.

Vancouver FC was founded in 2022 and will kick off its first Canadian Premier League season in 2023. Based in Langley, the club is committed to being a professional team that commits more to its community than it takes out, in the pursuit of growing soccer in Canada, said Friend.

RELATED:Vancouver FC drafts top two picks in U Sports


Have a story tip? Email:
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

About the Author: Langley Advance Times Staff

Read more