Five Surrey United players join UBC men’s soccer


VANCOUVER – The UBC Thunderbirds are proud to introduce their latest men’s soccer recruits, a group of five young men from the Surrey United club program.
Defender Manraj Bains, midfielder Matteo Bordignon, midfielder Kerman Pannu, defender/midfielder Darren Rulofs and goalkeeper Aman Thind will all don the blue and gold, starting next season.
The five players led Surrey United to the Under-16 national club championship in 2013.
“We are thrilled to have these five individuals joining our program,” said UBC head coach Mike Mosher. “They are top players from a top team and club who have won consistently, winning provincial and national championships in the process.  Surrey United have been a top developer of soccer talent in B.C. and Canada.”
“I think very highly of this incoming group and I could see them making an immediate impact into our squad. We look forward to getting them involved with our squad and making them a part of the program.  As well, these are young men whom are strong academically and will succeed in the classroom as well as on the field.” 
Bains first joined Surrey United in 2010 and helped the club to league, provincial and national championships.
“It has always been my dream to go to UBC,” said Bains. “I chose UBC because it has an excellent science program and a solid soccer team. I’m thrilled to get a degree from UBC that will be with me for the rest of my life. UBC is one of top 40 schools in the world; the campus is beautiful and enriched with diversity, the location is perfect and in close proximity from home.”
Bains has also been with the Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency program for the last two seasons. He was part of the U-16 Residency team that made it to the quarter-finals of the United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) championship for the first time in club history.
Bains was also part of Whitecaps FC’s Prospects squad that advanced all the way to the finals of the 2010 Surf Cup, in San Diego.
Defender Matteo Bordignon attended Canada’s Men’s Under-17 National Team training camp in Qatar in December 2013 and was a nominee for Surrey United’s Player of the Year during the same season.
“I chose UBC because it is a perfect fit for me both as a student and a footballer,” said Bordignon, who was a part of the Whitecaps Residency Program from 2010-2012. “The combination of studying at a world-class academic institution as well as joining one of the most highly-regarded soccer programs in Canada made UBC a really easy choice for me.”
Bordignon has been a part of B.C.’s provincial team program throughout his youth career and participated in the Canadian Soccer Association’s National Training Centre (British Columbia region) program as a U-14 player.
Pannu, a midfielder, brings leadership and championship experience to the UBC program, having won at the highest levels of club and high school soccer.
“What’s exciting for me is that not only do I gain an education from such a prestigious university, but I also get to develop myself further as a player in its top-ranked soccer program,” says Pannu. “This has always been my main goal that I’ve been trying to achieve ever since I was a young soccer player.
“UBC has a great reputation as being a complete school in all aspects, whether it’s the school work, the sports teams, or the campus. I look forward to taking a step into a new chapter in my life academically and athletically. I am positive the next few years will be some of the best years of my life.”
Pannu has already achieved great success in the sport. He captained Surrey United to the U-16 national title, two provincial championships and the Northwest title.
In November, Pannu won Most Valuable Player honours after leading his Panorama Ridge Thunder team to the ‘AAA’ high school provincial title. In the championship game, Pannu scored all three of his team’s goals in a 3-0 shutout.
Darren Rulofs, a midfielder, helped Surrey United to league, regional, provincial and national championships in 2013. Rulofs was part of back-to-back provincial title-winning squads at Surrey United in 2012 and 2013.
“I’m excited for all of the new challenges and opportunities that UBC will have for me. Joining such a successful soccer program and furthering my education while living on campus are all things I am looking forward to this fall. 
“I chose UBC because I want to be a part of a university that combines world-class education with an excellent soccer program.”
Goalkeeper Aman Thind was one of the stars in the championship game of the U-16 club nationals, stopping two sure goals in a 1-0 extra time shutout victory.
“I chose UBC because it is one of the top universities not only in Canada, but in the world,” said Thind. “What really won me over were the multiple facilities and educational opportunities that come with UBC as well as its beautiful campus.”
All five players join a UBC program that is the most successful in CIS history with 13 national titles, nine more than any other school. The Thunderbirds will announce several more recruits in the upcoming weeks. The team’s university season will begin in the fall.