Three Vancouver FC players named to Week 22 Team of the Week

Vancouver FC pulled together a full performance against Atlético Ottawa on the weekend to secure their historic first points against the Eastern team. The attacking pressure that led to VFC’s 2-1 storybook victory came from a powerful front line with three players in particular who each had a hand in earning the three points. For their efforts this past weekend, James Cameron, Gabriel Bitar, and Miki Cantave were all named to the Canadian Premier League’s Team of the Week (TOTW) for Matchweek 22.

James Cameron has only risen since his open trial with Vancouver starting with a developmental contract to signing a standard player contract to scoring his first professional goal on Saturday night. The 18-year-old from North Vancouver was in the right place at the right time to convert the rebound off Shaan Hundal’s cross into the game-winning goal in added time.

Saturday’s match was Cameron’s first start since August 19th and first full 90 minutes since August 12th. In addition to his goal, Cameron registered a team-high of two shots and tied Cantave for a team-high of 13 total duels, winning six of them, against Ottawa. This is Cameron’s second recognition on TOTW, previously being honoured in Matchweek 17 for his performance in VFC’s 0-0 draw against Valour.

Gabriel Bitar continues to be a key feature in Vancouver’s roster now making his third TOTW appearance in just four weeks. Bitar set up Cantave’s opening goal in the sixth minute with a perfectly placed leading pass that broke the former Cavalry player behind Ottawa’s defence for a clear shot at the net.

Bitar’s 89-minute performance, before being subbed off in added time, also saw him register two shots, three successful dribbles, and winning 50% of his total duels. With five matches left, the 25-year-old is sitting on the cusp of a CPL career milestone with his next goal being his 10th in league play. Bitar has made a total of four appearances in the TOTW this season with his first nod coming in Matchweek 2 when Vancouver earned their first franchise victory against York.

Miki Cantave has had a career season in 2023 and has only taken off since joining Vancouver in July. The forward scored the opening goal for VFC in the sixth minute after going one-on-one with Ottawa’s keeper and completing a clinical finish. Cantave’s goal marked his fifth of the season, third with Vancouver, in 21 total matches this year.

Cantave’s near 90-minute effort included a team-high (minimum of 10 passes) of 92.9% passing accuracy, completing 13 out of his 14 attempts. He also recorded a team-high of four successful dribbles, tied Cameron for a team-high of 13 total duels, and had two total crosses. Matchweek 22 marks the second time that Cantave has made TOTW, previously joining Rocco Romeo in Matchweek 13’s TOTW after he scored the game-winning goal against Halifax.

Make sure you don’t miss out on the last chances to watch Vancouver FC in their inaugural season with only two home games remaining! Tickets for the September 23rd Indigenous Culture match can be purchased online here and tickets to the FINAL home match of the season on October 6th can be purchased online here.