Adrian Sahagun looks to exhibit his scoring talent in the PACWEST
Justin Scott // Managing Editor
While the Capilano University Athletics Department has a history of recruiting some of the Lower Mainland’s strongest talents, one of this year’s additions to the men’s soccer program is from a little farther away.
Born in Campeche, Mexico, soccer has always been a part of Adrian Sahagun’s life. “I started playing when I was around three years old,” he told the Courier, looking back at how his love for the game came to be.
Sahagun’s move to Vancouver, around a year ago, was also the first time he stepped foot in the Great White North. “I came here to study and learn English,” he recalled. It was during this time that the possibility of playing at CapU became something Sahagun was aware of. “I started playing in the Vancouver Men’s Soccer League (VMSL) with West Van Soccer Club (WVSC),” he said, “My coach was Desmond Tachie, who for me was a really, really good coach, and I really appreciate him for what he did for me because he also helped me to get an opportunity here at CapU.”
While playing in the VMSL was an exciting experience for Sahagun, it was far from his first time playing at a high level.
Before his fateful trip to Vancouver, the electric striker played in some of Mexico’s most prestigious leagues. Starting in the South’s Zona Sur fourth division, Sahagun soon saw success and moved on to a higher level. In no time, he had made it to the second division of Mexico’s premier soccer league, Liga MX.
During his time in these leagues, Sahagun was able to work on his craft – scoring goals. Having played either the wing or forward his whole life, he has come to understand the position as well as hone his skills.
This is one of the aspects of Sahagun’s game that Head Coach Paul Dailly found most enticing about the rookie. “Adrian is very dynamic,” he said. “He likes to play wide up top and he’s got a lethal left foot on him. He’s got a nose for the goal. He’s very shifty, very good offensively, great skills and he looks to get half a yard around the defender and looks to score goals.”
As fate would have it, the Blues men’s soccer team operates out of a system Sahagun is well versed in from his time playing in Mexico, making his transition onto the team a comfortable one. “The 4-3-3 is a system that I’ve played most of my life,” Sahagun said, “I’ve been the winger or the forward since I was very young, so I haven’t had any trouble getting used to it.”
While much of Sahagun’s transition into the Blues program has been smooth, he’s still getting used to a few aspects of playing at CapU. The men’s third game of the season was an exciting victory over the Vancouver Island University Mariners, played in a typical Vancouver downpour – something that isn’t very common in Mexico.
“I think it’s a very good experience to play games in the rain because we don’t have rain like that in Mexico,” he said, “So, I’m trying to get used to the rain and the cold.”
Another aspect of the game he’s still getting used to is the physicality of the soccer played in Canada. “Here the soccer is more tough and the tackles are more hard than in Mexico,” he explained. Dailly also cited this as a factor that Sahagun would likely have to get used to. “He’s not a huge guy by any means so physicality may be an issue for him,” said the coach. “But as far as the skill level and nose for that net, I’m looking for big things from him.”
While he’s only been back in the city for a month, Sahagun is already feeling like Vancouver is his second home. He’s become comfortable with many of the logistic aspects of living in Vancouver from his previous visit, he noted that the CapU community, his team especially, have made the move a comfortable one. “I think that all my teammates are really good people and they’ve tried to involve me in activities,” he said. “No matter if it’s soccer stuff or in terms of friendship. So, I really appreciate that because I’m not from here.”
Sahagun is also enjoying his time off the pitch. “I’m really proud and happy to be at one of the best universities in Vancouver, and also in Canada,” he said. While he’s just beginning his first semester at CapU, he hopes to graduate from the business program.
For now however, he’s focused on the season ahead. Sahagun, along with the rest of the men’s soccer team, is aiming to three-peat as provincial champions, a feat the first-year player believes he can play a role in achieving.