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Paris Gee Returns Home, Signs Two-Year Contract with Vancouver Football Club

January 23, 2024 - Canadian Premier League (CPL)
Vancouver FC News Release


Langley, BC - Vancouver FC adds another hometown player to their 2024 roster with the announcement today of Burnaby native Paris Gee agreeing to a two-year contract with the Eagles.

A veteran of the game, Gee, 29, has played nearly 200 professional matches for teams across Canada, the United States, and in Croatia, but never in his home province of British Columbia. In bringing Gee home, Vancouver is providing another opportunity for a local athlete to play professionally in his own backyard in front of family and friends. Gee becomes the eighth B.C.-born athlete on Vancouver's 2024 roster, joining goalkeeper Callum Irving, defenders Kadin Chung, Anthony White and James Cameron, midfielders Ben Fisk and Grady McDonnell, and forward Taryck 'TJ' Tahid.

"It's always been in the back of my head to play in Vancouver and now it is happening," said Gee. "To know that my friends and family can be in the stands for all 14 home games means the world to me and I can't wait to get started."

Gee returns to play in his hometown for the first time since his teenage years. Growing up, he was a self-described "Vancouver-nomad" playing for various clubs across local municipalities. His youth career began with Wesburn Soccer before transitioning to formerly Burnaby Metro, later becoming Mountain FC and now known as Burnaby FC, where he played until the age of 15. The Burnaby Central Secondary alum capped off his time with then-Mountain FC by earning a silver medal at the Under-16 Super Y-League Finals before joining fellow VFC teammates Fisk and Irving as a training player in the Vancouver Whitecaps Residency system in 2011.

Gee played his final year of youth soccer with Coquitlam Metro-Ford SC (CMFSC), where future VFC teammates Chung and White would also play. His CMFSC's Ajax squad went on to win the provincial championship in the Premier Cup division that season.

Gee decided to take his shot at a professional career after spending his freshman year with Simon Fraser University's men's soccer program. With few opportunities available to him at home, he followed the path taken by many Canadian players with pro aspirations before him, signing a deal overseas with NK Rudeš of the Croatian second division in 2014.

He would eventually find opportunities closer to home, initially landing stateside with the Tulsa Roughnecks and then Saint Louis FC in the United Soccer League, before returning to Canada to represent FC Edmonton in the Canadian Premier League (CPL).

Most recently, Gee spent the past two seasons with York United FC, registering three assists in 36 games for the Nine Stripes. Gee starred for York in 2023 as a lynchpin of a squad that set new records for wins and points that season.

It was also during the 2023 season that Gee played his first professional game on hometown soil, when he visited Willoughby Community Park as a Nine Stripe on July 2, 2023. The overwhelming fan support in the stands for the kid from Burnaby that night gave Gee a glimpse of what it means to play at home in front of his friends and family, especially his father who was recently diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and is in search of a kidney donor.

"Bringing Paris home to be closer to his family, friends and fans will complete the circle of football for one of the most underrated players in the CPL," said Afshin Ghotbi, Head Coach, Vancouver FC. "He is talented, versatile, consistent, durable, coachable and makes every team he plays for better.

"I am excited to coach him and I believe his best performances are ahead of him at VFC," said Ghotbi.

Gee will be available to the media via ZOOM tomorrow, Jan. 24. More information on the virtual press conference will be announced shortly.

Last week, Vancouver announced the signing of 15-year-old Surrey native McDonnell, who became the youngest player to sign a Standard Player Contract in CPL history. McDonnell now holds the record over VFC's Tahid, who was the youngest player to have a CPL contract at the time of his signing in 2023.

Earlier this month, Vancouver announced the return of Mikaël Cantave, Vasco Fry, and Renan Garcia to the 2024 squad, as well as the signing of East Vancouver native Fisk to a two-year deal.

Further Vancouver FC roster updates and announcements will be made later this month.

Vancouver FC current roster as of Jan. 23, 2024:

Goalkeepers: Callum Irving

Defenders: Kadin Chung, Rocco Romeo, Ibrahim Bakare,Tyler Crawford, Anthony White, James Cameron, Paris Gee

Midfielders: Elliot Simmons, Ben Fisk, Vasco Fry, Renan Garcia, Grady McDonnell

Forwards: Alejandro 'Wero' Díaz, Mouhamadou 'Mamadou' Kane, Gabriel Bitar, Taryck 'TJ' Tahid, Mikaël Cantave

If you or someone you know is willing to help Paris' father, Mr. Gee, by donating, please contact the donor nurse coordinator at Vancouver General Hospital (Tel: 604-875-5182 / 1-855-875-5182 or email at kidneydonornurse@vch.ca) or through the BC Transplant website (www.transplant.bc.ca). Mr. Gee's file number is #25572.


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