The UFV Cascades men’s soccer program has added four players for the 2020 season. (UFV Cascades photo)

The UFV Cascades men’s soccer program has added four players for the 2020 season. (UFV Cascades photo)

UFV men’s soccer team adds four new talents

Abbotsford school signs two rookies, one veteran and one international player for 2020

The University of the Fraser Valley Cascades men’s soccer team has added four players for the 2020 Canada West season.

The school announced the signing of Langley natives Will Bundy and Taylor Richardson, Surrey’s Jeevan Dhaliwal and Germany’s Tobias Spiess to the roster.

“We identified certain areas we think we need to improve upon – that’s why it’s a smaller class this year, and more select,” head coach Tom Lowndes stated. “I believe the players we’ve brought in will impact us. It was a case of finding the right pieces to add to the group, and I think we’ve done that.”

Dhaliwal had a strong club career with Fraser Valley FC, winning BC Soccer Premier League (BCSPL) League Cups in 2016 and 2017. He also sparkled on the high school soccer scene, leading his Panorama Ridge Thunder to three straight B.C. AAA title games and winning the championship in 2019. Dhaliwal’s goal stood up as the game-winner in a 3-0 win over crosstown rival L.A. Matheson in the provincial final.

“Jeevan is a quality attacking player – very dangerous going forward, creating on the ball,” Lowndes said. “He can thread a pass, and also beat players 1-v-1. I’m excited to bring a player with his attacking qualities into our squad next season.”

Bundy’s prep career featured a stint with the Vancouver Whitecaps’ pre-residency program, and he was a Team B.C. selection for three consecutive years. He also won a title with the 2000 Coastal FC squad. Bundy was also part of the Surrey Tigers premier men’s team which won provincial and national championships.

“Will is a dynamic attacking player who will bring additional firepower to our frontline for next season,” Lowndes said. “He is creative in 1-v-1 situations and I believe he will be able to cause U Sports defenders problems with his pace and power. Will’s experience playing men’s soccer, most notably winning the Canadian club championships with Surrey Tigers, should help him transition into U Sports soccer smoothly.”

Richardson spent three seasons at the Pacwest level with the Douglas Royals, and was instrumental in their success. He was a conference first team all-star in 2018 after scoring six goals in 12 regular-season games, and in 2019, he led the Royals to a PACWEST title and a berth at the CCAA national championships. Richardson was named a national tourney all-star after registering two goals and an assist over four games as Douglas finished fourth.

“Taylor is a player we’ve had our eye on for a year or two now,” Lowndes said. “He’s a quality attacking threat – pacey, a natural winger, a talented 1-v-1 attacker. We’re excited to have him come in and finish off his university career over the next couple years with us.”

Spiess becomes the second German on the Cascades’ roster, joining defender Kadir Yagci, who recently completed his first season. Spiess, a Nuremberg product, played club soccer locally for SC 04 Schwabach this past season, starting all 21 games and registering a goal and an assist. A career highlight was playing in front of 10,000 fans at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, the home of Real Madrid.

“Tobias will provide much needed depth and competition to the centre back position, whilst also being able to play as a central midfielder,” Lowndes said. “He has played for some very strong youth and men’s clubs in Germany and I have no doubt that his experience will serve him well as he transitions to life in Canada. Tobias is also a strong student wanting to pursue his degree in business, meaning he fits the mould of a UFV men’s soccer student-athlete.”

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UFV Cascades