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Vancouver FC Gabriel Bitar Preseason

Vancouver FC Storms Back Against WFC2 In Preseason Bout

By on March 2, 2023 1 2282 Views

Vancouver FC stormed back to a 3-1 preseason victory over the Whitecaps FC 2 last night.

The preseason friendly took place on the University of British Columbia campus, with both teams testing their match fitness through three 45 minute halves. Goals from Gabriel Bitar, Mamadou Kane, and draft trialist Ameer Kinani saw Vancouver FC complete a 3-1 comeback over their MLS Next Pro opposition.

The Whitecaps FC 2 lineup has no less than three players who had also featured in the CPL at one point or another, with former Pacific loanees Isaac Boehmer and Kamron Habibullah in the lineup, whilst former Atletico Ottawa youngster Antoine Coupland pinged a shot off the post in the 59th minute – though Simon Becher was there to bury it.

While Boehmer had held on to his clean sheet by the end of 90 minutes, the third and final 45 minute segment saw Vancouver FC convert two penalties within five minutes of one another, with Ameer Kinani and Gabriel Bitar converting their spot kicks.

Former York United forward Mamadou Kane clinched the win with a shot from inside the box a few minutes from time, sending the ball into the bottom corner to make the score 3-1.

See Also: Kinani Selected in 2023 CPL-U SPORTS Draft

It’s unclear who all got minutes for Afshin Ghotbi’s expansion team: signed athletes Callum Irving, Gabriel Bitar, Tyler Crawford, Shaan Hundal, Gael Sandoval, Mamadou Kane, Rocco Romeo, Khalil John-Wentworth, and Nima Moazeni were all pictured in photos, while soon-to-be-sixteen year old midfielder TJ Tahid was also spotted in snaps from the match.

Vancouver FC Shaan Hundal Preseason
Shaan Hundal drives the ball for VFC. (Photo Credit: Vancouver FC / Beau Chevalier)

The club has publicly confirmed 16 of 23 allowed signings, with one more domestic U-21 athlete required to comply with league rules. More signings from Ghotbi’s side are expected to come soon, with the club confirming the marquee signing of Liga MX veteran Gael Sandoval this week amidst rumours that former TFC right-back Kadin Chung will join the team.

Head coach Afshin Ghotbi had revealed that the club is undergoing quite an extensive preseason ahead of its competitive debut. The gaffer revealed that MLS Next Pro, CPL, and university opposition were all on the menu, though it remains to be seen who they’ll face.

Given that neighboring side Pacific will play Valour as part of this year’s preseason preperations, it’s easy to envision Phillip Dos Santos’s side making a stop in the lower mainland, too.

Header Image Photo Credit: Vancouver FC / Beau Chevalier

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