2019 Highlanders: Where are they now?

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With the first day of Fall in the rear-view mirror, the 2019 Summer has come to an end, but that doesn’t mean there is a shortage of soccer to be found at the local, provincial, and national level. Naturally, several Highlanders’ players from the 2019 season, from both the First and Second Team, are plying their trade at the collegiate level or in the local Vancouver Island Soccer League (VISL) and Vancouver Metro Soccer League (VMSL), as well as some professional opportunities overseas.

 

University of Victoria Vikes

The UVic Vikes boast the highest number of players from the Highlanders’ organization with nine, eight from the Pacific Coast Soccer League (PCSL) Second Team and one from the USL League Two First Team. The list includes:

  • Chris Merriman – Defender – PCSL Second Team
  • Evan Libke – Defender – PCSL Second Team
  • Evan Stefanek – Defender – PCSL Second Team
  • Evan Wills – Defender – PCSL Second Team
  • Ian Whibley – Defender – PCSL Second Team
  • Jack Hill – Midfielder – USL League Two First Team
  • Jose Sagasta – Midfielder – PCSL Second Team
  • Matteo Ventura – Forward – PCSL Second Team 
  • Rees Goertzen – Defender – PCSL Second Team
  • Sergio Duran – Midfielder – PCSL Second Team

University of British Columbia Thunderbirds

Meanwhile, the UBC Thunderbirds have three Highlanders on their roster, all three are from the USL League Two First Team. This includes:

  • Mackenzie Cole – Midfielder – USL League Two First Team
  • Sam Fletcher – Midfielder – USL League Two First Team
  • Victory Shumbusho – Forward – USL League Two First Team

University of Northern British Columbia Timberwolves

The UNBC Timberwolves’ roster includes four players from the Highlanders’ PCSL Second Team and one from the Highlanders’ USL League Two First Team.

  • Aboubacar Cisse – Midfielder – PCSL Second Team
  • Daniel Zadravec – Goalkeeper – PCSL Second Team
  • Joel Watson – Midfielder – PCSL Second Team
  • Kensho Ando – Midfielder – USL League Two First Team
  • Owen Stewart – Midfielder – PCSL Second Team

Thompson River University WolfPack

The TRU WolfPack have the 2019 USL League Two Highlanders’ captain Joshua “Big Time” Banton on their squad. The defender is playing in his third year with the WolfPack.

Vancouver Island University Mariners

Shun Takano returned to the VIU Mariners for a fourth year with the program. Takano played for the Highlanders’ First Team in 2019 where the midfielder finished in a tie for the team lead in goals scored with four.

Trinity Western University Spartans

The Spartans have two Highlanders’ players, one from each of the 2019 teams, entering their first year of university football:

  • Jake Ruby – Defender – USL League Two First Team
  • Joey Seo – Midfielder – PCSL Second Team

University of Texas Rio Grande Valley 

The NCAA Division 1 side Vaqueros welcomed two Highlanders into their program for the fall season. One is a returning goalkeeper and the other is a first-year defender with the Texas side:

  • Elyad Shojaei – Defender – USL League Two First Team
  • Trevor Schneider – Goalkeeper – USL League Two First Team

Vancouver Island Soccer League

The Fall season brings with it more VISL action and the chance for the Highlanders’ players to further develop their skills:

Westcastle United (Div. 1)

  • Dylan Kirk – PCSL Second Team
  • Kayden Miner – Defender – PCSL Second Team
  • Keenen Colley – Midfielder – USL League Two First Team
  • Maurizio Abdi – Forward – PCSL Second Team
  • Sachdev Grewal – Goalkeeper – PCSL Second Team
  • Sean Young – Midfielder – USL League Two First Team

Highlanders (Div. 2)

  • Goteh Ntignee – Forward – USL League Two First Team
  • Kadin Martin-Pereux – Forward – PCSL Second Team

Bays United Liquor Plus (Div. 1)

  • Ethan May – Goalkeeper – PCSL Second Team
  • Mackenzie Rigg – Defender – USL League Two First Team
  • Patrick Nelson – Forward – PCSL Second Team
  • Ryan Ashlee – Defender – PCSL Second Team

Vancouver Metro Soccer League

Rounding out the Fall season soccer is the VMSL which boasts a handful of players from the Highlanders’ organization:

Croatia SC A

  • Daniel Davidson – Forward – USL League Two First Team

CCB LFC United

  • Caleb Clarke – Forward – USL League Two First Team
  • Mitch Popadynetz – Midfielder – USL League Two First Team
  • Aly Adib – Defender – USL League Two First Team

Rinos Tigers

  • Cam Hundal – Midfielder – PCSL Second Team

German League

And of course we have former First Team players that are currently plying their trade over in Germany.

Turkspor Augsburg (Fifth Division)

  • Connor Guilherme – Defender – USL League Two First Team

FC International Leipzig (Fifth Division)

  • Joshua Walter – Midfielder – USL League Two First Team

FC Carl Zeiss Jena (Third Division)

  • Jonathan Walter – Midfielder – USL League Two First Team