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Vancouver FC makes Maple Ridge teen the league’s youngest player

Taryck Tahid, just turned 16, is the baby of the Canadian Premier League
Maple Ridge soccer phenom Taryck “TJ” Tahid, 16, is the youngest player in Canadian Premier League history to sign a standard contract. (Beau Chevalier, Vancouver FC)

On Saturday, the Vancouver Football Club announced the signing of Taryck “TJ” Tahid to the last roster spot on the 2023 team, making the native of Maple Ridge, the youngest player in Canadian Premier League history to sign a standard contract.

He was just 16 years and 16 days old.

“I am thrilled to sign my first professional contract with Vancouver, and become the youngest player in League history,” said Tahid. “The opportunity to go pro at my age is something I do not take lightly, and I am grateful to Rob Friend, Afshin Ghotbi and the team at VFC for helping me to take this next step in my career.”

Tahid could play in Vancouver’s inaugural home opener on Sunday, May 7, and if he plays, will become the youngest CPL player to register professional minutes.

“TJ is a football phenom with the potential to reach the highest level of the global game,” said Afshin Ghotbi, coach of Vancouver FC. “Incredibly talented, TJ combines power, pace, skill, and football intelligence at the young age of 16 years old.”

He already boasts an extensive soccer resume. Tahid has also trialed with the New York Red Bulls of the MLS and FC Midtjylland of the Danish Superliga.

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Tahid most recently played for the U-21 VanCity Pro Football Academy in the Vancouver Metro Soccer League (VMSL). During his time with VanCity Pro FA, he trialed with Spanish side Villarreal CF, an official partner academy of VanCity Pro FA. Prior to playing for VanCity Pro FA, Tahid represented the Maple Ridge youth team Albion FC.

In signing Tahid, Vancouver FC has now filled the maximum 23 roster spots allowed in the league.

“Identifying and developing young, local Canadian talent is what Vancouver FC is all about, and we are pleased to present TJ with this opportunity to take his next step on his football pathway,” said Rob Friend, club president and owner. “I am excited for our fans to get to know TJ as a bright up-and-comer who has the ability to make an impact on our team this season. We at VFC are committed to helping him reach his full potential as a professional.”

Vancouver FC hosts their home opener against Cavalry FC at WIlloughby Park at Langley Events Centre at 4 p.m.

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Black Press Media Staff

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