Dylan Bams and the Canadian men’s team stared down some of the world’s soccer giants en route to a respectable seventh-place finish at the International University Sports Federation (FISU) summer Universiade this month in Kazan, Russia.
In round robin play, the team tied its first game against France 2-2, defeated beat Peru 2-0 and tied defending bronze medallists from Brazil 1-1. Canada finished second in Pool D based on goal differential behind eventual tourney winner France.
The Canadians lost 4-1 in the quarter finals to host Russia, then dropped a 1-0 decision to the Ukraine in the next round. The squad defeated Malaysia 3-1 in its final match to place seventh out of 15 teams.
Bams, a 23-year-old attacking central midfielder who hails from Fanny Bay, sat out the game against Peru because he was sitting on a yellow card.
France won gold by defeating Great Britain 3-2 in the championship final. Japan blanked Russia 3-0 in the bronze medal match. Brazil finished 14th.
The seventh-place result for the Canadian squad was the second-best finish in program history behind the men’s fourth-place finish in 2007 at Bangkok, Thailand. Canada finished ninth in 2011 at Shenzhen, China.
The Universiade is a multi-sport event held every two years, second only to the Olympics in terms of numbers of athletes and countries. The FISU games are open to athletes at least 17 and under 28 as of Jan. 1 in the year of the competition. Participants must be full-time college or university students, or have graduated in the year preceding the event.
The six-foot Bams earned a spot on Canada’s 18-man roster from more than 100 CIS and NCAA players. He was one of three players from British Columbia who made the squad.
Bams is enrolled in physical education at the University of Toronto, where he finished a five-year stint playing with the Varsity Blues soccer team. He was a four-time provincial all-star, twice named to the first team. In his first year he was named Blues’ rookie of the year. In his last season he was named team MVP. He helped the Blues to three provincial finals, winning the title in 2010. The team also qualified for three national tournaments, twice losing in the semis.
Last year, along with being named U of T men’s soccer MVP, he was awarded the university’s Silver T, given to outstanding graduating student-athletes.
His long-term goal is to play professional soccer.
Bams is a product of the Comox Valley United Soccer program. He played house league as a youngster and later with rep teams. At 14, he played for Nanaimo’s Upper Island Gunners in the B.C. Select League. In high school, he helped the 2008 G.P Vanier team to an Island championship and a berth at the provincial tournament.
FISU men’s soccer final results:
2. Great Britain
4. Russian Federation