Vancouver FC announce first international signing of 2024, José Navarro
Vancouver Football Club

After securing a number of key local players in January, Vancouver FC have now set their sights on filling their international roster spots for the 2024 season. The club has made their first move with the signing of Mexican international José Navarro on a guaranteed two-year contract.

“I am very excited to join Vancouver and play a part in growing this club,” said Navarro.

Navarro brings youthful inspiration to Vancouver after spending his entire soccer career with one of the best development programs in Mexico, UNAM Pumas of Liga MX. The soon-to-be 21-year-old first joined the club’s development program at the age of 13 and has been ingrained in the professionalism of Pumas ever since.

“A product of one of the best football clubs in Mexico, UNAM Pumas, Navarro possesses the qualities to complement Alejandro Díaz and company to make VFC a goal-dangerous team in the 2024 season,” said Vancouver’s Head Coach, Afshin Ghotbi.

The native of Mexico City, MX, got his first taste of league competition in 2022 when he made the Pumas’ U20 squad. In the first half of the season, Navarro made 12 appearances and scored two goals, including a highlight-reel half-field goal that helped the team to a 5-0 victory over Mazatlàn U20 on July 27, 2022. Navarro would help the team win the Sub-20 Aperture championship on Oct. 23, 2022 in a two-leg finale over rivals Atlas U20.

Navarro made a total of 22 appearances during his time with the U20 squad and even got a call up to Pumas’ senior team that season. He made his professional debut in Liga MX as a late substitute in a match against Club Necaxa in July 2022. The 20-year-old forward most recently played for Pumas’ U23 team, making five appearances in 2023 and scoring one goal by burying a game-winning penalty shot in injury time against Atlas U23 in November of last year.

“Navarro’s physical power, work rate, and presence in the penalty box will make the young Mexican one of the most exciting young strikers in the Canadian Premier League,” said Ghotbi.

After playing with athletes years older than him, Navarro is ready to take the next step in his soccer career and expand his experience in new markets.

“Having the opportunity to play professional soccer in a top-tier league is something that is very important to me and I’m looking forward to the competition I’ll face in this new chapter,” said Navarro.