A talented midfielder who can play in the middle or on the right-hand side, Nizar Khalfan Khalfan joined Whitecaps FC's inaugural Major League Soccer roster on Feb. 9, 2011, becoming one of the first players to be signed to an international roster spot by the club. The native of Mtwara, Tanzania, moves up to MLS with Vancouver after a one-and-a-half year spell with the club at the North American second division level.
MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
2011: Khalfan made his MLS debut as a halftime substitute in Whitecaps FC's 4-2 home win over Canadian rivals Toronto FC on Mar. 19, as he replaced the impressive Davide Chiumiento in the club's inaugural MLS match at Empire Field. The midfielder's first start in the league came in a 1-0 defeat at Philadelphia Union on Mar. 26. Khalfan then put in a heroic substitute performance in the dramatic 3-3 home draw with Sporting Kansas City on Apr. 2. After replacing the injured Greg Janicki in the second half at Empire Field, the midfielder set up Atiba Harris' goal before assisting on Camilo's stunning equalizer with a fine cross. Khalfan then assisted on Camilo's consolation strike during Whitecaps FC's 2-1 away defeat to Colorado Rapids on July 9. Then making his first appearance in over two months, Khalfan scored his first goal in MLS during a 3-0 home win over Real Salt Lake on Oct. 6. He then assisted on Camilo's goal during a 2-1 home win over D.C. United on Oct. 12.
MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER RESERVE LEAGUE
2011: Khalfan played as a second-half substitute in Vancouver's inaugural match in the MLS Reserve League, as Whitecaps FC reserves fell 2-1 at San Jose Earthquakes reserves on Mar. 22. He then made his first start in Whitecaps FC reserves' 1-1 home draw with Chivas USA reserves on Apr. 17 before assisting on Long Tan's winning goal, as Whitecaps FC reserves claimed a 2-1 home win over Seattle Sounders FC reserves on Aug. 9. The result at Swangard Stadium was Vancouver's first-ever win in the MLS Reserve League.
UNITED STATES SOCCER FEDERATION DIVISION-2 PROFESSIONAL LEAGUE
2010: Khalfan recorded his first Whitecaps FC point when he assisted on Marlon James' goal during the club's season-opener on Apr. 11, as Vancouver won 2-0 at home to NSC Minnesota Stars. His first start of the season came in the goalless draw at Major League Soccer club Toronto FC in the Nutrilite Canadian Championship on June 2. Then after appearing in a friendly against Brazil with his native Tanzania, Khalfan came off the substitutes' bench to score the winning goal in a 2-1 away victory over Austin Aztex on June 12. It was the midfielder's first-ever goal for the club. On July 14, Khalfan assisted on Blake Wagner's first-ever goal for the 'Caps during a 3-1 home win over Miami FC. He struck his second Whitecaps FC goal in a 2-1 home defeat to Portland Timbers on July 22.
UNITED SOCCER LEAGUES FIRST DIVISION
2009: After being discovered by Whitecaps FC during Vancouver's 0-0 friendly draw with the Tanzanian national team on Mar. 14, Khalfan arrived midway through the USL First Division season for an undisclosed financial amount from Tanzanian Premier League club Moro United on Aug. 13. The midfielder started all but one of his nine regular season appearances for the club that year. The midfielder then went on to appear in five matches during the Whitecaps FC playoff run to the USL-1 Championship Series. This included a start in the 3-2 home defeat to Canadian rivals Montreal Impact in the first leg of the USL-1 Championship Series.
TANZANIAN PREMIER LEAGUE
Khalfan began his professional career in his native Tanzania with Mtibwa Sugar FC. During the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons, the midfielder scored 16 goals in 57 appearances for the club that hail from the Tanzanian city of Turiani. Then after spending a season in the Middle East, Khalfan returned to the Tanzanian Premier League when he signed with Moro United for the 2007-08 campaign. He scored five goals in 16 appearances for the club based in the Tanzanian city of Morogoro.
KUWAITI PREMIER LEAGUE
2007-08: Khalfan spent a season in the Middle East when he joined Al Tadamon, who are based in the Kuwait City suburb of Al Farwaniya. The midfielder made 18 appearances during his lone season with Al Tadamon, with his only goal coming in cup competition against Al Arabi.
Senior: Khalfan has appeared at the senior international level for his native Tanzania, having made his debut for the East African nation back in 2006. He scored the match winner during Tanzania's 4-1 away victory to Mauritius in the second round of African qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup on Sept. 6, 2008. Though Khalfan appeared in five games during the second round of qualifying, Tanzania missed out on the third and final round of qualifying for South Africa 2010 after finishing third in Group One. On Sept. 2, 2006, Khalfan scored a second-half winner in an historic 2-1 home victory over Burkina Faso at the Tanzania National Main Stadium in Dar es Salaam. Despite their best efforts, the team known as the 'Taifa Stars' missed out on qualification for the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana, as they finished third in qualifying Group Seven. The midfielder also appeared in a 1-0 friendly defeat to Côte d'Ivoire on Jan. 4, 2010. Khalfan played the first half in Dar es Salaam, with Chelsea striker Didier Drogba scoring the match winner for Côte d'Ivoire at a sold-out Tanzania National Main Stadium. Khalfan then appeared in Tanzania's 5-1 friendly defeat versus world powerhouse Brazil in Dar es Salaam on June 7, 2010, where he was named 'Man of the Match'. His latest appearances came in 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying, with Tanzania drawing 1-1 away to Algeria on Sept. 3, 2010, and falling 1-0 at home to Morocco on Oct. 9, 2010. He was then part of the Tanzania squad that suffered a 2-1 defeat away to Central African Republic in 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying on June 5, 2011, while he set up Mbwana Samatta's goal during Tanzania's 1-1 home draw with Algeria in 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying on Sept. 3, 2011. Khalfan then started both of Tanzania’s matches in the first round of African zone qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup on Nov. 11 and 15, 2011. The Taifa Stars advanced to the second round of African zone qualifying on the ‘away goals’ rule following a 2-2 aggregate draw in their two-leg series versus Chad.
The midfielder started his playing soccer in his hometown of Mtwara, Tanzania, with a youth team called Score FC. As a student, Khalfan attended Ligula Primary School and Ocean Secondary School in Mtwara, Tanzania.
Khalfan hails from Mtwara in southeastern Tanzania. It is the capital town of the Mtwara Region and located along the Indian Ocean coastline near the border with Mozambique. He is married to wife Radhia and has a son named Dhulkilfi. His parents are Mariam and Khalfan Khalfan, while he has a sister named Jasmin.
Khalfan is an admirer of English Premier League giants Manchester United and the Dutch national team. The midfielder also enjoys watching Barcelona and Spain star Andrés Iniesta play, while he is also a fan of the sport of volleyball. Khalfan's favourite music is reggae, while his favourite movie is 'Rush Hour'.