Gabriel Bitar Makes CPL Return With Vancouver FC
Lebanese international Gabriel Bitar has landed with Vancouver FC.
Bitar had been a free agent following the termination of FC Edmonton, though he had procured a head-turning campaign with the side last year. He contributed five goals and one assist in 21 appearances, highlighted by an absolute rocket against his former side Cavalry FC in an Al Classico derby.
Bitar’s introduction to the CPL came in 2019, when he made history as the first overall pick from the CPL-U SPORTS Draft. He was picked up by Cavalry and made three appearances for them before returning to Carleton University in the fall.
He proved prolific in U SPORTS action, finishing his university career with 40 goals and two U-Sports All-Canadian nods. The Ottawa-born forward also plied his trade briefly with Lebanese side Al Ansar in 2021, enjoying a hot start in Lebanon before opting to return to Canadian pastures instead.
There had been many curious eyes watching to see where Bitar would land, with the expectation being that he certainly deserved a new CPL contract.
“I am looking forward to building on my growth as a professional in 2022 with Vancouver this coming season,” added Bitar. “I learned a lot during my first full season as a professional and believe I can contribute even more to my new team as Vancouver takes the pitch for its first season this year.”
Vancouver FC head coach Afshin Ghotbi likes Bitar’s ability to create chances for himself, describing him as a player who brings a powerful presence when the ball is at his feet. Former Eddies coach Alan Koch also chimed in online, describing the player as a gem with endless potential to be a superstar at the CPL level.
Bitar become the seventh player to join Vancouver FC, who brought in Rocco Romeo earlier this week.
Header Image Photo Credit: John Jacques