Vancouver FC sign Canadian midfielder Zach Verhoven

Vancouver FC is bringing home yet another B.C.-born player after signing midfielder and Surrey, B.C. native Zach Verhoven to a one-year contract with an option, the club announced on Thursday. 

“I am very proud to be back representing my hometown club, Vancouver FC,” said Verhoven. “It’s an honour to have this opportunity to play in front of my family and friends. I am grateful to everyone at the club for welcoming me since my arrival and I am excited to get this season started.”

A veteran of the Canadian Premier League (CPL) with five league seasons worth of experience already under his belt, it was in Surrey that the now 25-year-old first took up the game of soccer at the youth level with Surrey United FC. As he got older, Verhoven spent a few years developing in the Vancouver Whitecaps Academy, before returning to his local club where he played until the age of 18.

After graduating high school in 2016, Verhoven became a University of British Columbia (UBC) Thunderbird for three years. He scored 12 goals and registered 22 assists in 64 appearances in U SPORTS competition for the T-Birds and won the Canada West Championship in 2017 and 2018.

Following the 2018 season, Verhoven made a splash in the inaugural CPL-U SPORTS Draft, when he was picked in the second round by Pacific FC. He proceeded to sign his first professional contract with the Vancouver Island-based team in April 2019, and went on to make 33 appearances for the club over the next two seasons, scoring three goals and registering three assists. During his tenure on the Island, Verhoven battled alongside Kadin Chung, Ben Fisk, David Norman, Callum Irving and Alejandro “Wero” Díaz, who he is now reunited with in Vancouver.

Verhoven went on to sign with Atlético Ottawa as a free agent ahead of the 2021 CPL season. He made 65 appearances in the nation’s capital between the 2021 and 2023 seasons, scoring seven goals and registering nine assists. Verhoven was part of the Atlético squad that won the CPL regular season title and reached the CPL Final in 2022.

“We are thrilled to sign one of the best wingers in the CPL,” said Afshin Ghotbi, Head Coach, Vancouver FC. “Zach can skip, jump, and sprint past defenders at will and his ability to provide scoring opportunities will give VFC another welcomed dimension in the attack.

“Zach’s local history and connection to B.C. will make his integration and success at the club organic and imminent.”

Verhoven becomes the tenth B.C.-born player to represent Vancouver this season, as the club continues its commitment to providing professional opportunities for local talent. Verhoven joins goalkeeper Irving, defenders Chung, Anthony White, James Cameron, Paris Gee and Norman, midfielders Fisk and Grady McDonnell, and forward Taryck ‘TJ’ Tahid as hometown athletes. 

Further Vancouver roster announcements will be made later this month.

Vancouver FC current roster as of Mar. 14, 2024:

Goalkeepers: Callum Irving

Defenders: Kadin Chung, Rocco Romeo, Tyler Crawford, Anthony White, James Cameron, Paris Gee, David Norman, Elage Bah

Midfielders: Elliot Simmons, Ben Fisk, Vasco Fry, Renan Garcia, Grady McDonnell, Kembo Kibato, Zach Verhoven

Forwards: Alejandro ‘Wero’ Díaz, Mouhamadou ‘Mamadou’ Kane, Gabriel Bitar, Taryck ‘TJ’ Tahid, Mikaël Cantave, José Navarro