Roving Around: Vancouver FC Eyes Ivan Mejia
It’s fair to say the TSS Rovers turned heads aplenty when the club made Canadian Championship history this year, becoming the first non-professional side to sink pro opposition.
They did it on some style, sinking Valour FC three-nil at home. On the scoresheet was none other than Ivan Mejia Yepes, a TSS Rovers attacking midfielder who likes to pull strings and can also play out left as a winger.
Mejia put in great shifts for both the history-making match and the club’s subsequent two-nil loss against an in-form Pacific side, returning to league play and contributing five goals in the Rovers’ opening eight matches.
The midfielder’s performances have evidently caught the eye of VFC boss Afshin Ghotbi, who has invited the Colombian-Canadian talent to train with the expansion side ahead of the transfer window – as revealed by a now-deleted training photograph that shows Mejia out-of-focus on the right:
Should he carve out a space on the roster, he wouldn’t be the only TSS Rover to join the expansion side, as Anthony White signed a multi-year deal for The Eagles earlier this year after making history as the youngest-ever first-overall draft pick.
Vancouver FC, who currently sit bottom of the league table but are just three points shy of being mid-table, have room for exactly one more player on the roster. With a transfer window looming, however, it remains to be seen what shifts Ghotbi might be making to the lineup.
This won’t be Mejia’s first time flirting with professional opportunity: his youth career started in Colombia with Deportivo Cali, with his transition to Canadian soil seeing him feature for Mountain United and the Vancouver Whitecaps Academy, who he progressed up to the U-23 level before moving on.
Landing with FC Tigers, he bagged ten goals for the FVSL treble winners and tested himself against FC Edmonton behind closed doors. The following spring saw him join a Rovers side destined to hoist the League1 BC trophy, qualifying them for a 2023 Canadian Championship that would see Mejia deliver a goal against Valour.
While Matteo Polisi took most the accolades for leading the Rovers in both cup matches, Mejia was an important piece of how the Rovers played on the pitch – and it seems like Ghotbi believes the 22-year-old might just have what it takes to turn professional in Vancouver.
The Vancouver FC squad is currently in Winnipeg, preparing for a match against Valour FC against tomorrow.
Header Image Photo Credit: Tom Ewasiuk / AFTN