York United FC signs ex-Pacific FC midfielder Noah Verhoeven

Noah Verhoeven has switched the purple-and-teal of Pacific FC for the blue-and-green of York United FC.

The 21-year-old former Pacific midfielder has signed a two-year deal with the Nine Stripes, with an option for the 2023 CPL season, York announced on Thursday.

Verhoeven featured 30 times in all competitions for Pacific over the last two CPL seasons, 24 of those as a starter. He featured five times for Pacific at The Island Games, starting twice, before parting ways with the club this off-season.

“Noah is one of the most exciting young Canadian talents about,” York United FC CEO/President & GM Angus McNab said.

“He’s the perfect fit for us given his age profile and he also aligns with the club’s strategy of having as many players with links to the Canadian setup as possible, be that underage or senior level. I think Noah can play a key role for us but he knows that he’ll have to work very hard to establish himself in our squad given the depth we have recruited in midfield and attack.”

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Verhoeven, born in Surrey, B.C., started his career at Surrey United and the Vancouver Whitecaps FC’s academy where he eventually graduated to its USL team, making 24 combined appearances for Whitecaps 2 and Fresno FC. The creative midfielder was then picked up by Pacific ahead of its inaugural CPL season in 2019.

While at Pacific, Verhoeven impressed as one of the CPL’s earliest standout players. He ranked 10th among CPL midfielders in opportunities generated from open play; his 16 chances created were less than half of first-year Forge FC standouts Tristan Borges (36) and Kyle Bekker (33) along with current Pacific midfielder Manuel Aparicio (35).

“There’s a lot of competition and I feel that’s what I need for myself: a change, really. It’s a new environment where I can push myself,” Verhoeven said of his move to York. “Right now there’s a lot of good pieces so it’s just about us putting it together as quickly as we can. When any club has a refresh, I think it’s not only exciting for the players but for the fans as well.

“It’s a fresh start, a clean slate and that’s appealing for any player: to come into an organization where there’s almost a completely new team, though the core has stuck around. It’s appealing because you can go compete and fight for your spot. And you get good results from that.”

Verhoeven, who has made eight appearances for Canada at under-20 and under-23 level, explained that his international aspirations played a big part in his decision to join York.

“The eyes are on the CPL now and you’re seeing a lot of players go in with the men’s national team and I think it’s possible for a lot of the CPL players,” Verhoeven said. “So, who knows what could happen?”

The arrival of Verhoeven at York comes in the aftermath of former Cavalry FC standout Dominick Zator signing with the club earlier this week.