CPL basement dwellers Vancouver F.C were on the end of another thrashing, falling 3-1 to Cavalry F.C. Vancouver snatched an early goal but were soon overwhelmed by a Cavalry side that had a lot more quality. But, their lineup did feature the league’s leading scorer and the league’s youngest player.
- A1 – Very good, could play higher
- A2 – Strong potential to play higher
- B1 – Good, strong player at level
- B2 – Potential to be a strong player at level
- C – Average for the level, rewatch
- D – Below average in this match
- Nationality: Canadian
- Age: 16
- Date of Birth: 21/04/2007
- Current Club: Vancouver FC
- Position: Midfielder
- Preferred Foot: Right
Taryck Tahid played in a midfield role for Vancouver FC He was subbed off at half time but I felt I got a good sense of what he is all about. There is one phrase that defines Tahid at this point in his career. “For a sixteen-year-old.” As in, “he is good for a sixteen-year-old” or “he has good physical traits for a sixteen-year-old.” He is not necessarily that amazing of a player right now. But he is doing some positive things in a professional senior league as a teenager.
One of those positive things is shots. He managed three shots in his 45 minutes of action. A long-range shot, a header after a nice run into the box, and snatching up a loose ball in the second phase of a set-play. He has already scored a CPL goal and established himself as a bit of a presence in and around the box. That’s an encouraging sign for such a young player. But in the build-up phase, he just wasn’t very involved. He had one pass into the box but that was about it. His technical skills look pretty decent from what I saw but they just were not on display very often.
Defensively he covers a lot of ground. He is quick to close players down but he does not win a lot of tackles cleanly. This is not due to any lack of effort, he certainly does not back out of challenges, but he seems to lack the strength and timing to get it done regularly. Tahid has a good frame and doesn’t immediately look like an undersized player. But when he goes into physical battles with grown men you can see that he still has a lot of room to grow.
Rating – A2
Tahid is not necessarily that amazing right now. It would be pretty hard to make the “best skills and goals, the next Davies!??!” compilation of him based on his professional minutes so far. But he is making some positive contributions at an incredibly young age. I think that has to bode well for his potential to make it to a higher level, even if it takes some time. He has a good chance of making it to the tier of leagues below the big-5. I wouldn’t be fully confident in saying he can go further than that.
- Nationality: Canadian
- Age: 23
- Date of Birth: 14/07/1999
- Current Club: Vancouver F.C
- Career: Toronto F.C (Y), Toronto F.C II, Ottawa Fury, Valour F.C, Inter Miami II
- Position: Striker
- Preferred foot: Right
I was interested to see Hundal play because, after seven seasons of bouncing around North America’s less prestigious professional leagues, he seems to finally be hitting his stride. Hundal currently leads the Canadian Premier League in scoring, despite playing for Vancouver FC, an expansion team that is firmly planted at the bottom of the table.
He made an instant impact, getting on the end of Gael Sandoval’s cutback to score a goal from close range after an early slip-up by Cavalry’s defence. This goal is typical of Handal’s 2023 season. If you look at his shot map you will see his shot locations are immaculate. That’s a good thing because the rest of his game is decidedly not immaculate. Hundal does not have a lot going on physically. He is 5’9 and not particularly strong or quick. He is not a major threat in the air and he has trouble creating separation from defenders in physical battles. He does have pretty good off-the-ball movement, that’s how he got those shot locations, so he can drop into some good spots and receive the ball. But his dribbling is not very good so unless he’s doing a short layoff he is unlikely to go anywhere. He was not very active defensively and the few times he did press he did not look very likely to win the ball back. But, despite all that, the results are hard to deny.
Rating – B1
Handal has already played for the reserve teams of two different MLS clubs, both of which opted not to sign him. I can see why they decided to pass, he is extremely one-dimensional. But that one dimension is pretty good! Leading the golden boot race on the last-placed team (even if it is a salary-capped league with only 8 teams) is impressive. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to conclude he could do that at a slightly higher level on a better team. But I don’t think he offers enough to make the step up to MLS or a similar level.