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Soccer at home: Langley, here we come

After spending April on the road, VFC hosts its home opener Sunday afternoon at Willoughby Park
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Vancouver Football Club, Langley’s new pro soccer team that has a home opener Sunday, has been practising at their home pitch at Willoughby Park (next to LEC) for months, as their new stadium has been built up around them. (VFC/Special to Langley Advance Times)

Vancouver Football Club players are literally counting down the hours until they run out onto the field at Willoughby Park and for the first time welcome and play for their hometown fans.

Langley’s brand new professional soccer team, best known as VFC, takes to the pitch Sunday, May 7, at 4 p.m. to take on the Cavalry FC, and while it’s not the first game of the fledgling team’s first ever season – it is their inaugural home opener.

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The match will be hosted in the brand new stadium at Willoughby Park – at Langley Events Centre – and will also feature game day entertainment including a family-fun zone, beer gardens, and VFC’s mascot unveiling, confirmed club owner and president Rob Friend.

“Vancouver Football Club is thrilled to finally play on home turf in front of our incredible fans,” said Friend.

“We have been building this club brick by brick, from the players and coaches to the staff and stadium, from the ground up. We are ready to put the final piece in place by hosting our fans at our new stadium.”

Vancouver FC’s stadium is the first of its kind in the Lower Mainland, created specifically to host soccer matches at the highest professional level, he explained.

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The brand new stadium can seat more than 6,500 fans and features a supporters’ section in the south grandstand. And fans in attendance for Sunday’s home opener will be the first to experience this intimate, fan-friendly atmosphere that is unique to VFC matches.

“This new stadium adds another level of professional sports to the Langley area,” said Friend.

“The beautiful thing about VFC’s stadium is its ability to grow and expand with the needs of the community and we are excited to be a part of that growth.”

Vancouver FC was founded in 2022 as part of the Canadian Premier League, and kicked off its season last month with a few away games.

RELATED: Excitement building to play soccer home opener in Langley May 7

Vancouver FC will offer many exciting activities that will be fun for all ages during its home opener, with the gates opening at 2:30 p.m.

A key feature to the off-pitch entertainment is Vancouver FC’s Family Zone. Fans are encouraged to arrive early and experience everything this area has to offer including inflatable games, facepainters, balloon artists, and live music from local DJ Floetic.

Those fans in attendance Sunday also get an exclusive opportunity to meet VFC’s newest signing, the club’s to-be-unveiled mascot. A best kept secret, the mascot will mix and mingle in the Family Zone and throughout the stadium at every home game, getting to know all of VFC’s incredible fans.

VFC’s home opener festivities will also include rally towels for the first 4,000 fans through the gates, local country recording artist Karen-Lee Batten performing the Canadian national anthem, and guest speeches by CPL Commissioner Mark Noonan and Langley Township Mayor Eric Woodward.

Other highlights that day will include a craft beer corner, food trucks, and a book signing station featuring Farhan Devji, author of Alphonso Davies: A New Hope, noted Mark Rogers, managing director for the club.

“Community means everything to us at VFC,” Rogers said. “We want to not only provide the best entertainment experience on and off the pitch, but also give back to those who make this endeavor as special as it is.”

As of Friday, tickets to Vancouver FC’s historic home opener are already 75 per cent sold out.

Fans can purchase their tickets online or in person at the Langley Events Centre ticketing office. Parking is free of charge for all Vancouver FC matches.

RELATED WITH VIDEO: Preparing for first home game in Langley, Anthony White wants a win for Vancouver FC

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32638659_web1_230505-LAT-RH-VFCCountdown-training_3
Vancouver Football Club, Langley’s new pro soccer team that has a home opener Sunday, has been practising at their home pitch at Willoughby Park (next to LEC) for months, as their new stadium has been built up around them. (VFC/Special to Langley Advance Times)

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