2018 Annual Report
2018 was another busy year for many of our Tulis alumni, with many familiar names finding continued success in new roles, and several more recent alumni beginning to make a name for themselves in the soccer world. Whether they’re close to home or several flights away, we like to keep tabs on our players’ progress, both to inspire our current crop of players about the exciting possibilities that await them in the future and to remind our alumni that they’ll always have a home here with us in Burnaby. Here are the stories of just a few of our alumni over the past 12 months.
Achieving Success Both On-and-Off the Field!
2014 and 2015 School Girl Lauren DaLuz had a great start to her university soccer career in 2016 and played her way towards being a cornerstone of her team in 2017. To say that she improved again in 2018 would be the understatement of the year!
As a standout defensive presence, Lauren was a key piece of a University of Ottawa team that won the national championship! On the way to raising silverware for the Gee-Gees, Lauren was selected as an Ontario East 1st Team All-Star for her commanding performances.
Off the field, Lauren has also thrived, now in her 3rd year of the Civil Engineering program. She works just as hard in the classroom as she does on the pitch, earning two Academic All-Canadian Awards.
Tulis Alumni Achieving Coaching and Broadcasting Success
One of the school’s original crop of players, Hall of Fame member Terry Dunfield has been connected to Roman Tulis Soccer for more than a quarter of a century. After a successful playing career that included stops at Manchester City, Bury FC, Macclesfield Town, Shrewsbury Town, Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Toronto FC, Oldham Athletic, and Ross County FC, Terry has shifted his focus to teaching future generations of soccer stars.
In addition to his on-field coaching role with Toronto FC’s youth academy, Terry has the platform to educate thousands of young soccer players as an analyst with TSN. We always encourage our young players to watch as much professional soccer as they can, and to try to learn something from every game that they watch. Now they are able to do that for Premier League and MLS games alongside a familiar face who began his career at Roman Tulis.
There are also several Tulis alumni coaching the beautiful game closer to home, with 2000 School Boy and Hall of Fame member Kevin Harmse (pictured right) working as an assistant coach with Simon Fraser University’s Men’s Soccer Team; 1994 School Boy and Hall of Fame member Russell Huggon coaching with the Port Moody Soccer Club; and 1995 School Boy and Hall of Fame Member Alfredo Valente working as the technical director of Coquitlam Metro Ford Soccer Club. With more than 30 years of professional playing experience between them, this triumvirate are producing talented, hard-working soccer players across the Lower Mainland.
When Life Gives You Lemons…
Tulis alumnus and Hall of Fame member Mason Trafford had another successful season with Miami FC, despite less than ideal start to the year. The club’s traditional league, the North American Soccer League, went on hiatus unexpectedly at the start of 2018, leaving teams scrambling to find other options for the upcoming season. While some teams were forced to fold, Miami FC persevered and found a new home in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL).
Despite roster upheaval and unfamiliar surroundings, Mason and his teammates made history as they won the NPSL championship in their debut season in the league. Miami FC was Mason’s 6th professional soccer club, having previously represented the Vancouver Whitecaps, Real Maryland Monarchs, IFK Mariehamn, Guizhou Zhicheng, and Ottawa Fury.
A League of Our Own
The Canadian Premier League (CPL) is set for its debut on April 27, 2019, with a derby match between Forge FC (Hamilton) and York 9 FC (Toronto) marking the beginning of an exciting chapter in Canadian soccer. The other clubs competing in the CPL’s inaugural season are Cavalry FC (Calgary), FC Edmonton (Edmonton), HFX Wanderers FC (Halifax), Pacific FC (Victoria), and Valour FC (Winnipeg). The CPL is manifestation of an idea many years in the making, offering an opportunity for young Canadian soccer players to experience life as professionals and extend their careers beyond the youth and university levels. While many Tulis alumni have shown that it’s possible to have success in Europe and elsewhere, having a league in our backyard will give many more players the same types of opportunities much closer to home. And indeed, several Tulis alumni have already jumped on board, with Marcus Haber and Alessandro Hojabrpour recently signing with Pacific FC.
2005 School Boy and Hall of Fame member Marcus Haber was recently unveiled as a marquee signing for Pacific FC of the CPL. He brings many years of professional and international experience, having previously represented Vancouver Whitecaps FC, West Bromwich Albion, Exeter City, St Johnstone, Stevenage, Notts County, Crewe Alexandra, Dundee FC, Falkirk, and the Canadian Men’s National Team.
Despite being one of the newest – and youngest – Tulis alumni to join the professional ranks, Alessandro is by no means a stranger to the big stage. He spent much of his youth development the Whitecaps Residency program (along with many other Tulis alumni), where his skill and creativity were noticed by the national program, earning him several call-ups to youth national teams.
Alessandro then made the difficult, but ultimately rewarding, choice to leave the comforts of home to pursue a professional career, joining Lokomotiv Plovdiv’s U19 side in Bulgaria. During his time in Bulgaria, Alessandro had the opportunity to train with the club’s first team, giving him important experience playing and training alongside seasoned professionals. His strong performances overseas did not go unnoticed by scouts for the new CPL, who saw a terrific opportunity to bring this talented young soccer player back to his Canadian roots.
Despite spending countless hours training on the same field in Burnaby with our school, the generational divide means that Alessandro and Marcus have yet to meet – but that doesn’t mean that they’re not excited to explore their common connection through Roman Tulis.
In a recent interview with club reporters, Alessandro revealed after he signed that “Marcus already texted me and said he is excited to meet me!”