As far as memorable Friday’s go, Abbotsford’s Mark Village had one for the ages on Dec. 16.
The former star goalkeeper was named as the goalkeepers coach for the Canadian Premier League’s expansion Vancouver FC at 12:21 p.m. and then about three and a half hours later it was announced that he would be entering the UFV Cascades Hall of Fame.
— Mark Village (@_smalltown) December 16, 2022
🏔️🗞️| 2023 Cascades Hall of Fame class of inductees to be honoured during the home basketball games on January 14. https://t.co/EeqKWhC1Qz
— UFV Cascades (@UFVCascades) December 17, 2022
Village played his youth soccer in Abbotsford and then suited up for the Cascades from 2009 to 2014, establishing himself as the top goalkeeper in team history.
He still holds many of the Cascades Canada West-era goalkeeping records, including most wins (16), shutouts (11), minutes played (4,194), games played (46) and save percentage (.726).
Village then signed a professional contract with the Vancouver-based Whitecaps FC2 in 2015 and made his debut in goal with the club in 2017. He then moved on to the United Soccer League’s Cincinnati FC for the 2018 season and moved to the Langford-based Pacific FC of the CPL for 2019. His 1-0 win over the Halifax Wanderers FC was the first clean sheet in CPL history.
He retired on Feb. 28, 2020, but remained at Pacific FC as a goalkeepers coach and back-up goalie in emergency situations from 2020 to 2022. He was also a part of the 2021 CPL Championship team at Pacific FC.
Village stated on Twitter that he is excited to be a part of the Langley-based Vancouver FC club.
“Looking forward to this new challenge,” he posted. Happy to be coming home.”
The 2023 CPL schedule has not yet been released but the regular season typically begins in April and runs until October. The team will play at Willoughby Community Park in Langley, which is attached to the Langley Events Centre.
Afshin Ghotbi was named as the team’s first head coach back in November.
Village will be inducted into the UFV Cascades Hall of Fame on Jan. 14, 2023, along with volleyball star Kayla Bruce and the 2001-02 men’s basketball team.
Bruce played three seasons for the Cascades (2010-11 through 2012-13) and led the Cascades women’s volleyball program to an era that included a CCAA national bronze medal in 2012, and the first CCAA national championship in the program’s history in 2013.
The 2001-02 Cascades men’s basketball team won the second CCAA national championship in program history — and its second in three years. The team, guided by head coach Pat Lee and assistant coach Tom Antil, rolled through its BCCAA conference schedule with a 17-1 record, with an average margin of victory of 22.5 points per game.
The Cascades Hall of Fame was established in 2016, and Jan. 14 will mark its sixth induction event. Bruce, Village, and the 2001-02 men’s basketball team join 19 previous inductees – nine athletes, six builders, and four teams – whose accomplishments are commemorated with plaques in the mezzanine of the UFV Athletic Centre.