Vancouver FC add midfielders Maël Henry, Cristian Mares

Langley, BC – (February 28, 2023) Vancouver FC today announced the addition of teenage midfielders Maël Henry and Cristian Mares to its roster ahead of the club’s inaugural season in the Canadian Premier League (CPL) in 2023.

Henry, 18, is an up-and-coming Canadian central midfielder who most recently represented the CF Montreal academy, scoring five goals in 15 Première ligue de soccer du Québec games in 2023. A touted young talent, Henry has previously trialed with France-based teams FC Loriente, AJ Auxerre and Stade Malherbe Caen. 

The native of Montreal was 14 years old when he made his debut in the Canadian youth program in 2019, representing Canada at the 2019 Concacaf Boys’ Under-15 Championship. He more recently donned the maple leaf when he was selected to the Canadian team that competed at the 2022 Concacaf Men’s Under-20 Championship. Henry made two appearances as a substitute during that competition, scoring against St. Kitts and Nevis with a tricky backheel.

“I look forward to the opportunity to compete for first-team action in Vancouver’s first season,” said Henry. “I am grateful to the club and to the League for giving me a place to continue to develop on home soil.” 

Mares, 18, joins Vancouver on loan from Puebla FC in Liga MX for the 2023 season. The native of León de los Aldama, Mexico has represented Puebla since the youth levels and most recently appeared for its under-20 side in 11 matches in the Liga MX Sub-20 Apertura in 2022 and in four matches in the Liga MX Sub-20 Clausura in 2023, scoring two goals in each tournament. 

Cristian Mares. (Photo: Beau Chevalier/Vancouver FC)

The five-foot-eight attacking midfielder, who can also play as a forward, is a force with the ball at his feet, developing a reputation as one of the best dribblers in Liga MX Sub-20, a player who can take on any opponent.

“I am excited to experience playing soccer in another country for the first time by joining Vancouver,” said Mares. “I am eager to fight for my place in the starting eleven as I play my part to make the club’s first season a memorable one.”  

“Maël and Cristian are both young players with lots of potential,” said Afshin Ghotbi, Head Coach, Vancouver FC. “I look forward to putting them both in the best situations to challenge them and continue their development this season.”

Henry and Mares joins strikers Mamadou Kane, Nathanial St. Louis and Shaan Hundal, midfielders Elliot Simmons, Gabriel Bitar and Nima Moazeni Zadeh, defenders Pele Martinez, Rocco Romeo, Marcus Simmons, Kahlil John-Wentworth and Tyler Crawford and goalkeepers Callum Irving and Jeremy Zielinski on Vancouver’s roster.