Still young, Zach Verhoven is already a CPL veteran: The Next Gen Presented by Jones DesLauriers | Navacord

Still just 23 years old, Atlético Ottawa’s Zach Verhoven is already a CPL veteran, and arguably had his best CPL season yet in 2021.

After spending time in the Vancouver Whitecaps academy, the Burnaby, BC native attended the University of British Columbia, and also spent time with PDL side TSS FC Rovers. He was drafted out of UBC by Pacific FC in the inaugural CPL–U Sports Draft in 2018, and spent two seasons with The Tridents.

In 2019 he was one of the first U21 players to shine in the CPL, and throughout his two years with Pacific played in midfield and out wide as a more attack-minded player. After the 2020 season he left the club, and signed with Atlético Ottawa ahead of their first full CPL season.

Under Mista, his third head coach in three CPL seasons, Verhoven was often deployed at right back, filling in for Miguel Acosta, who was forced to play left back for a lot of year after an injury to Vashon Neufville. Verhoven looked comfortable playing in a more defensive role, and finished second in the CPL in tackles, with 43 in 25 appearances.

The 23-year-old also made a big impact offensively, scoring once and providing five assists. He made some lung-busting runs down the right flank that created opportunities that didn’t seem to be there moments earlier.

He came into the 2021 season “more motivated than ever”, and was one of the CPL’s best full backs in 2021. He’ll play a big part again in 2022, and may have discovered his new best position.