May 25: An unexpected celebration of soccer in our community


A term that we have come to seek out in our grocery stores, neighbourhoods, and on many products. There is something innate about that word that drives connection and support; a recognition that local means that you are a part of something: a community.

To support local requires a symbiotic relationship between a product and the community. Without a product, there is nothing for the community to rally around; however, if there is no community to support, the product will not succeed. Sometimes it is through the demand of the community that a local product is created and other times the product is made first and the community comes together around it.

Although only in its second season, Vancouver FC burst onto the soccer scene in B.C. as a product of bringing the professional soccer experience to the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley. They came with a goal and a mission to enhance the local soccer community by working cohesively with the youth and senior organizations that were already established and to provide opportunities in every way to those in the community. However, VFC is only the latest piece of the soccer puzzle that has been developing in B.C. for generations.

Notably, Vancouver Whitecaps FC of Major League Soccer (MLS) are celebrating their club’s 50th year of professional soccer. Pacific FC of the Canadian Premier League (CPL) was established at the onset of the league, providing the first Canadian opportunity for Vancouver Island locals to truly have a team of their own. And now Vancouver FC in the Fraser Valley is reaching out to the expanding population that continues to develop Eastbound.

These professional teams are the peak of the pyramid for B.C. soccer, but they are held up and supported by the semi-professional leagues such as League1 BC, adult recreational leagues such as Fraser Valley Soccer League, varsity teams such as Trinity Western University and University of British Columbia where Thomas Powell and Sebastian Dzikowski joined VFC from, respectively, and the numerous youth organizations that get this whole community started. Not to mention the countless organizations that have risen and fallen throughout the history of this province who all played a part in building this community.

Coquitlam native Thomas Powell battles for the ball against Cavalry FC

It is these local teams and organizations that provide supporters and fans with a connection to the community but they are equally as important to aspiring players to have tangible opportunities to strive towards. We find pride in supporting our local players because they are proof that our community can produce great things. 

Vancouver FC is a beacon of what talent B.C. holds and what local lads are more than capable of achieving. The squad includes 13 B.C.-born players ranging from veterans of the game including Callum Irving and Kadin Chung to young professionals who are just getting started like TJ Tahid, James Cameron, and Grady McDonnell. The club has also provided an important opportunity for local players to return home and represent their community including Ben Fisk, David Norman, Paris Gee, and Zach Verhoven.


Map of Greater Vancouver showcasing all 13 local BC Players

Yet through the wonderful world of sport, we are also proud to embrace those who have decided to join our communities in the belief that there is, and has been, a powerful soccer presence in our province. For VFC, it has been the likes of Renan Garcia and Alejandro ‘Wero’ Díaz who are household names in our communities, even though they aren’t necessarily local. But it’s through the passion and the support of the soccer community in B.C. that they have a home here.

Soccer is the global sport for a reason, because it has the ability to pull together everyone and anyone in simple participation and connect the community together. There is no better celebration of our soccer community or demonstration of how much support there is for soccer in B.C. than on May 25th when all three professional teams will be competing. 

Burnaby’s Paris Gee battles against Victoria’s Josh Heard in a preseason match against Pacific FC

The day kicks off with a B.C. Derby as Pacific and Vancouver clash at Willoughby Park starting  at 3 p.m. Then all the way in Downtown Vancouver, the Whitecaps will be hosting Inter Miami at B.C. Place with a 7:30 p.m. kick off. Fans can watch all three local teams in one day and rally together to support the amazing soccer community that B.C. has.

Local is where the heart of B.C. soccer lies and Vancouver FC is proud to be a part of it. Fans can purchase tickets to the BC Derby match against Pacific FC on May 25 here.