Ghotbi Adds James Cameron, Others To Vancouver FC
The Canadian Premier League’s newest team has added three new faces to the roster, all of whom arrive on developmental deals from Vancouver FC’s newly-confirmed affiliate club Unity FC.
Cameron, rather than being an acclaimed filmmaker of the same name, is a teenage full-back who calls North Vancouver home. He’s played for the likes of North Vancouver FC, Mountain FC in the BC Soccer Premier League and is a product of the Blaise Soccer Academy.
Described by head coach Afshin Ghotbi as someone who brings pace on the flank with a ‘long, relentless stride’, he arrives to the setup having represented British Columbia at the 2022 Canadian Summer Games in Niagara.
The second of the bunch is midfielder Lennon Thompson, the son of VFC assistant coach Niall Thompson. The Surrey local had enjoyed a few years in the Whitecaps FC Residency program, more recently trialing in Malta with Sirens FC before suiting up for the TSS Rovers last year.
“Lennon is a football prodigy who combines talent, fighting spirit and football IQ,” adds Ghotbi on the youngster. “He can play multiple positions. I believe he will follow his father’s footsteps and will one day represent Canada in international football.”
The last of the trio is Toronto-born forward Kourosh Jamshidi, 17, who developed with Wexford Soccer Club and Markham Soccer Club before making the jump to OPDL side North Toronto. Most recently, he suited up for the Richmond Hill Raiders U-21 in League1 Ontario, making 11 appearances and scored one goal.
“He is as cool as a cucumber in front of the goal, and he has an instinctive nose to arrive at the right moment to where the ball will be in the danger area,” surmises Ghotbi.
As part of their developmental terms, all three Unity FC youngsters can now train full-time with Vancouver FC and can appear in up to six Canadian Premier League matches apiece while also suiting up League1BC side Unity FC.
It’s an immediate twist to the league’s affiliate club pilot program, which stipulates that while CPL players may move back and forth between the clubs, there will be no upward movement of semi-pro or amateur players into the CPL without a proper professional contract.
Developmental contracts, it seems, are a way to circumnavigate that relationship. Going the other way, Vancouver FC will be able to move two outfield players and one goalkeeper to Unity FC to help them earn competitive minutes.
Given that 16-year-old youngster TJ Tahid had spent the entirety of the club’s preseason with them, we’d be surprised if he isn’t added to the Vancouver FC ranks soon enough.
Vancouver FC will enjoy its first-ever home match this weekend, with Willoughby Community Park set to be backdrop for a first-ever clash against league heavyweights Cavalry FC.
Header Image Photo Credit: John Jacques