In-demand Falcons selected for Vancouver FC tryouts
Four Langara men’s soccer players included in the Canadian Premier League’s newest team’s hunt for talent
By Cala Ali
The head coach of the Langara men’s soccer team is hopeful the college will be able to build a relationship with Vancouver FC after four students have been invited to try out for the team.
Vancouver FC is the newest addition to the Canadian Premier League, a start-up division that debuted only last year and the country’s first professional league. Vancouver FC, whose home stadium will be the Langley Events Centre, will play its first game April 15 against Pacific FC of Victoria.
Vancouver FC targeted Falcons Takumi Ota, David Rodriguez Zegarra, Wizaso Chavula, and Athos Michellepis de Siqueira.
Marc Rizzardo, head coach of the Langara men’s soccer team, hopes the tryouts show students the opportunities they have while studying at Langara.
“This is the first time some of these players have been able to go out to these teams,” Rizzardo said. “And our connection with VFC has been really positive so far.”
Niall Thompson, Vancouver FC assistant first team manager, said he and his colleagues were impressed with all four Langara Falcons who were asked to try out.
Thompson said when looking for new members for Vancouver FC they consider many different factors.
“We look at their physical ability,” he said “Are they strong? Are they fast? Those types of qualities. And then we also look at the mental side.”
Rodriguez Zegarra, Chavula, and Michellepis de Siqueira have all attended tryouts. Ota, a third-year psychology student and Falcons midfielder, declined the tryout offer. Ota was part of the national collegiate team last semester and named a 2022 CCAA men’s soccer all-Canadian player, while midfielder Rodriguez Zegarra, and winger Siqueira were included in the PACWEST team of the season.
Training with professionals
Siqueira hopes to be selected by the club and was impressed by the professional standards.
“It was an incredible experience and an amazing opportunity to have been invited,” Siqueira said. “The quality of the team, coaches, staff, and everyone involved was top class.”
Ota said he was flattered to be invited, but wanted to focus his energy on school and doesn’t desire to play professionally.
“Some people say age doesn’t matter, but I’m 26, I’m not really interested in being pro,” Ota said.
Rizzardo said the public will need to wait to see which of the Langara Falcons made the team, as tryouts have concluded though results have not yet been released. He wants the players to announce the outcome on their own terms.