Village to lead VFC for Calvary Match

Vancouver FC will have a new (temporary) leader at the reins for the team’s upcoming match against Cavalry FC. Goalkeeper Coach Mark Village will assume the responsibilities of head coach for VFC’s September 16th match.

The short-term change in leadership is due to Vancouver FC Head Coach Afshin Ghotbi becoming ineligible to participate in Vancouver’s next match from yellow card accumulation. The statement was first announced by Ghotbi in the team’s press conference on Thursday. Assistant Coaches Niall Thompson is unable to make the trip due to pre-existing schedule conflicts.

The appointment of Mark Village to head coach continues Vancouver’s trend of providing opportunities for local talent. Village joined Ghotbi’s coaching staff in January of this year, following in the footsteps of his mentee, Callum Irving, from Pacific FC. The native of Abbotsford returned to his Mainland roots after spending a total of four seasons with Pacific, two as a player and two as a coach, including their 2021 championship year.

Village has seen and played in almost every level of soccer there is in North America, with a special pattern of staying close to home. Prior to getting on the ground level of the CPL, Village had played locally for Whitecaps FC 2, the University of Fraser Valley, and youth clubs throughout the Fraser Valley. The 31-year-old’s only stint away from the West Coast was in 2018 when he represented the now-MLS side, FC Cincinnati, before heading to the Island in 2019.

Village has worked closely with all of VFC’s goalkeepers in the inaugural season with a special added responsibility of being the Captain’s coach to fellow Lower Mainland-er, Irving. Although Village has only been coaching since 2020, his impressive career can now add a new line on his coaching resume as professional head coach. The cherry on top is he’s marking this milestone with his local club, Vancouver FC.