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Squamish soccer player Joey Buchanan signs with Vancouver FC

Buchanan helped his team win U17 Nationals in 2023
Joey Buchanan signed a developmental contract with Vancouver FC for the 2024 season.

Although Joey Buchanan grew up in the mountain biking and rock climbing haven of Squamish, soccer is undoubtedly his favourite sport. He’s always loved being part of the beautiful game, discovering relationships with peers and coaches he believes will last a lifetime. 

Now the 16-year-old is taking a big step forward in his career by signing a development contract with Vancouver FC of the Canadian Premier League (CPL). 

“I can't get words for it,” Buchanan gushed. “It's unbelievable. It's a great experience, a great opportunity and something I'm so, so grateful for.” 

Remarks head coach Afshin Ghotbi in a press release: “We are very proud to have identified a young, talented player from B.C. through our open trials for the second year in a row. Finding players such as Joey proves that there are still many talented gems in the B.C. football community that need pathways, such as combines, to be discovered.”

Buchanan is the 13th British Columbian signed to Vancouver FC this year. The terms of his contract start him with affiliate club Burnaby FC in the B.C. Soccer Premier League (BCSPL) while training full-time with his big-league peers and appearing in up to three CPL games. 

Best foot forward 

During his childhood, Buchanan could frequently be found at various Squamish Youth Soccer Association (SYSA) matches, training sessions and jamborees. His talent and passion for the game grew, leading him to programs like Mountain FC and North Vancouver FC before Burnaby. 

Last year, Buchanan won the B.C. Provincial Championship and U17 Boys’ National Championship under coach Todd May. 

“​​That nationals tournament was one of the best experiences of my life,” said Buchanan. “We went in ranked 10th in the country, but the togetherness of our team was the most important thing, and that’s what got us to becoming national champions. Learning the importance of [unit cohesion] was one of the biggest lessons and best weeks of my life.” 

A versatile player, Buchanan can line up in the midfield or at centre-back depending on scheme. He’s already left a positive impression on his new coaches. 

“Joey immediately showed personality, confidence and a great presence as a central defender,” Ghotbi said. “He also possesses the ability to participate in the build-up and maintenance of possession football. We are looking forward to seeing his development throughout this season.”

In turn, Buchanan was effusive in his praise for Vancouver FC’s training environment and overall culture. He was pleasantly surprised at how older athletes and staff members welcomed him with open arms, making him instantly feel part of the fold. 

Vancouver FC has won three of its first six matches as of this writing, which includes a 4-1 season-opening breakthrough over Valour FC. Watching from the home sideline, Buchanan noticed that his new teammates played much the same way as his former national title peers: tight and together to execute Ghotbi’s system. 

The Howe Sound Secondary student plans to stay humble, keep his head down and absorb as much soccer knowledge as possible en route to what he hopes is an eventual CPL debut. He’s also over the moon to represent his hometown. 

“Squamish, I love so much,” Buchanan said. “It's a community that I'm so grateful to be a part of and something I'm very proud to represent. I think our talent is overlooked, and I think we have players in our town that can take it to the next level. It's just about inspiring them and giving them the pathway to chase their dreams.” 

Follow Buchanan’s campaign at and stay tuned to more local CPL action at

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