NOLAN WIRTH OF Comox is off to the USSDA Finals Week in Houston

Wirth honing soccer skills with Whitecaps Residency program

Comox goalkeeper is heading to Texas for USSDA Finals Week

The Vancouver Whitecaps FC U18 Residency team is off to the United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) Finals Week, and Nolan Wirth of Comox is going with them.

The tall, 18-year-old goalkeeper will be backing up the older goalie on the squad and, while he doesn’t expect to see action unless there is an injury, he is looking forward to the experience and knows he has a key role to play.

“I have to be super positive, a leader on the bench and boost everybody. It will be very difficult sitting there watching instead of playing. You can’t do anything. But next year I could be the guy (in goal if the ‘Caps return to the tourney),” he said.

This is the second consecutive season the Whitecaps FC U18 have qualified for Finals Week. Last year they made it to the championship final before falling 3-2 to FC Dallas.

This year’s tourney runs July 14-20 in Houston, Texas. The ‘Caps open on Sunday, July 14, against Seattle Sounders FC at 6 p.m. PT. On Tuesday, July 16, they’ll face New York Red Bulls at 3:30 p.m. PT. Finally, on Thursday, July 18, they’ll wrap-up the group stage against Albertson SC at 6 p.m. PT.

In order to advance to the USSDA Championship final, the ‘Caps  will need to finish first in Group 1. The winner of Group 1 will then play the winner of Group 2 for the title at BBVA Compass Stadium – home of MLS Houston Dynamo. The USSDA Championship final on  July 20 will be streamed live on ussoccer.com.

Wirth, who joined the Whitecaps Residency in September 2011 after being scouted when he was playing for provincial teams, notes the Caps are the only team to advance to this year’s Final Eight by sweeping their three-game playoff qualifiers.

A Highland Secondary grad, Wirth played 11 regular season games this year (about one third of the 31-game schedule), and Whitecaps’ spokesperson Gabriel Lee notes, “Nolan has contributed greatly to the team’s success this season as he continues to work toward becoming an integral part of the future of Whitecaps FC.”

Wirth has one more year of eligibility left at the Residency. He has just graduated from Burnaby Central and says next season he will be taking extra courses to get more credits and open up his options even more.

Wirth says the Residency has been a great experience and credits WC Performance Goalkeeper coach Raegyn Hall and head coach Gordon Forrest with helping his development.

He has had many good coaches throughout his youth soccer career, and is quick to credit his dad Kelly as a major influence. “He’s always been there, and he knows the game so well.”

Wirth started his soccer career with Comox Valley United Soccer Club, where he played U12 to U14 Gold level (2006 to 2009). He helped Upper Vancouver Island (UVI) to a runner-up finish at the B.C. U13 provincial championship. He then made the step up to UVI United Metro to play at the U16 level from 2009 to 2011.

With UVI United, the shot-stopper was named two-time season  MVP. Wirth also represented B.C. at the U15 and U16 levels (2010 to 2011). This included a bronze medal at the 2011 Canadian U16 All-Star Championships. In 2011, he participated in the CSA’s National Training Centre (B.C region) program.

Wirth was called up to a week-long training camp with the Canadian U18 team in November 2012 and earned a clean sheet in his SSL Premier Development League debut with Whitecaps FC U23 as they won 4-0 at home to North Sound SeaWolves FC on July 6.

WIRTH NOTING Wirth enjoys golf, boating and home-cooked meals from his mom Donna, especially pizza and cheesy lasagne … his favourite English Premier League team is Manchester City FC and he is a fan of England goalkeeper Joe Hart … Wirth hopes to play at the famous Wembley Stadium in London, England, one day …

 

sports@comoxvalleyrecord.com

 

 

Just Posted

Stolen kayak tops Comox Valley RCMP report

Comox Valley RCMP report week of Sept. 18-2

Sarah Rebitt named the Vanier recipient of the Governor General’s Award

Sarah Rebitt was named the recipient of the 2018 Governor General’s Award… Continue reading

Dead motorcyclist was member of Facebook group that raced on Mount Washington road

Some group members record their rides and post times to page

UPDATE: Motorcyclist dead following crash on Strathcona Parkway

A 29 year old man has died following a motorcycle crash on… Continue reading

Vancouver Island pharmacist suspended for giving drugs with human placenta

RCMP had samples of the seized substances tested by Health Canada

VIDEO: Tour de Rock rider says event provides badly needed support

Cancer survivor and volunteer firefighter Nicole Emery speaks about importance of fundraising tour

Bob Castle’s Under The Glacier cartoon for Sept. 25, 2018

Bob Castle’s Under The Glacier cartoon for Sept. 25, 2018… Continue reading

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Indigenous athletes in spotlight at BC Sports Hall of Fame

New gallery to feature Carey Price, Kaila Mussel and Richard Peter

B.C. couple who went missing on flight from Edmonton named by family

Family released a statement Wednesday saying they’re still intent on finding the two-seater plane

VIDEO: A close look at what you were breathing during the B.C. wildfire season

Electron microscope images show soot and tar particles generated by worst B.C. fire season

Island man calls 911 after being robbed of his drugs

Nineteen-year-old and 15-year-old suspects face multiple charges following robbery Monday in Nanaimo

B.C. woman donates $250,000 to ovarian cancer research for friends

Two of Patty Pitts’s friends passed away from the disease within a year

B.C. could provide clues as to how New Brunswick electoral results shake out

Premier Christy Clark faced a strikingly similar scenario following the province’s 2017 election

Most Read