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Vancouver FC Adds Trio From Open Trials

By on February 23, 2023 0 1832 Views

As we had reported earlier this month, Vancouver FC’s back-to-back trial combines have resulted in the signing of three athletes – and today, the club has now revealed them.

The Canadian Premier League’s newest club has signed midfielder Nima Moazeni Zadeh, defender Eugene ‘Pele’ Martinez, and goalkeeper Jeremy Zielinski to its inaugural roster.

Vancouver FC Afshin Ghotbi
Ghotbi speaks to plays at a local combine. (Photo Credit: Vancouver FC)

Vancouver FC had hosted an a local combine that drew in some 160 players, and it was followed by an OPSM-sponsored combine that drew in just about a hundred additional athletes. From those, the aforementioned trio made the cut.

“The combine proves that there’s a wealth of talent looking for places to play, and as we move forward in building our club local talent will be the cornerstone of the squad,” said the club’s assistant coach, Niall Thompson. “By hosting the combine, Canadian players had the chance to experience a higher level of competition and it helped us as a club in continuing to build a scouting system with our local club partners to track players.”

The first of them is Iranian-Canadian Moazeni Zadeh, a 25-year-old attacking midfielder who arrived to camp as an alumni of Capilano University. It was there where he earned the CCAA’s PACWEST Player of the Year Award in 2021, with the Tehran-born athlete also suiting up for MVSL club Field Art FC while also suiting up for FC Tigers Vancouver last year.

He impressed head coach Afshin Ghotbi, also born in Tehran, who made quite the claim in stating that the 25-year-old would soon be recognized as one of the best midfielders in Canada.

The club also recruited its second goalkeeper in Jeremy Zielinski, a six-foot-two shot-stopper who most recently played for NCAA Division II club Hawai’i Pacific University.

“Jeremy possesses all the qualities to become one of the top goalkeepers in Canada,” alleges Ghotbi. “He is a fantastic shot blocker with cat-like reflexes, dominates the penalty area with his personality and range, and he is comfortable with his feet. We are excited to help develop Jeremy to a world class goalkeeper.”

A native of California who holds Canadian papers, the left-footed goalkeeper owned a 83.5 per cent save percentage over four seasons with the Sharks, logging a total of 3,917 minutes.

The local combine also resulted in the arrival of centre-back Eugene ‘Pele’ Martinez, a Belizean international who recently played for Cal Poly Pomona Broncos in the NCAA Division II.

The 25-year-old defender made four national team appearances for Belize last season, describing the move as a dream come true for his professional playing career.

“Pele impressed me immediately with his athleticism and personality,” added Ghotbi. “A great character in the locker room, Pele makes everyone better around him. He is a born leader who will soon be a fan favorite in the CPL.”

Martinez becomes the first announced international arrive in VFC history, though we know that Club Puebla youngster Cristian Mares is en route, too.

The club now has thirteen athletes on the roster, with the team set to undergo a preseason that will feature tests against university, CPL, and MLS Next Pro sides ahead of their inaugural match in April.

The length and financial details of the contracts for the trio were not disclosed by the club.

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