Kadin Chung Nears Return As Derby Day Approaches
They may be in the latter half of the season, but Vancouver FC are still the new kids on the block – and they’ve still a lot to prove against local rivals Pacific FC.
With a derby clash between the two coming up this Saturday, the CPL basement dwellers have a much-needed splash of good news on the horizon: Kadin Chung might be back in time to feature in the match.
“Kadin is training,” confirmed head coach Afshin Ghotbi this week. “He is close to full fitness, and we hope to have him this weekend.”
The Vancouver FC midfielder – who was slated to play a key role in year one following his arrival from Toronto FC – has been sidelined since May, diagnosed with a broken collarbone following a collision with Malcolm Shaw during an unceremonious five-nil defeat.
His return comes at a time when the club sits a staggering fourteen points outside of a playoff position and nearly two months without a league win.
His presence when fit provided a noticeable different in club form: when Chung was on the pitch, the CPL newcomers claimed one or three points in 60% of its league matches. That figure has been cut nearly in half without him, showing that his influence is sorely missed.
The midfielder had won the league with Pacific back in 2021 before trialing and signing with Toronto FC, where he featured in eight of the club’s first eleven matches in 2022 before falling out of favour with now-ousted head coach Bob Bradley.
Upon his return to the CPL, he’d featured in all seven of Vancouver FC’s matches prior to his injury, even cracking the team of the week roster just before his long-term injury kept him on the sidelines.
The full-back-turned-midfielder will still be required to pass a fitness test before being cleared to play this weekend, but his recovery has ultimately come much faster than had been expected.
Header Image Photo Credit: John Jacques