Tsawwassen goalkeeper named to Whitecaps Academy team

South Delta has become a hotbed for up-and-coming goalkeepers.

For the second time in three years a South Delta United Soccer Club alumni has secured a spot in the Vancouver Whitecaps all-expenses-paid youth development system.

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It was back in the spring of 2017 when Harrison Gough earned his way into the Whitecaps Residency Program where the now 15-year-old is stopping shots for the U17 side.

Trystan Read is following in his footsteps.

The 13-year-old from Tsawwassen was one of two goalkeepers named to the club’s Pre-MLS Academy Program that is based at Simon Fraser University.

This is the new U14 entry level of the team’s re-vamped youth system and provides a path to join the Residency teams that train at the Whitecaps main facility at UBC.

Both Gough and Read travelled a similar road that is the envy of young players across Western Canada.

They spent much of their grassroots years as out players and later developed their passion for the goalie position, crediting their time with SDU goalkeeper coach Helmut Wiebe.

“When I was little I was mostly an out player. I was doing a ‘keeper camp about one day a week on academy nights but it wasn’t really sticking,” recalled Read.

He upped his commitment to the position after the Tsawwassen and Ladner clubs merged to form SDU and he made the Division One team by splitting his time in and out of the net.

The transition to a full-time goalkeeper didn’t happen until he attended tryouts for Coastal FC of the BC Premier Soccer League in South Surrey.

“Going to BCPSL, I tried out as a player and then for the very last tryout I went as a ‘keeper. Everyone kept saying I had potential as a goalkeeper. So I decided to do it for fun and I made it,” continued Read.

“It was around that time I had started working with Helmut as well. He really is a great coach. I enjoyed training with him and was excited whenever I had that opportunity. He always pushed me to the next level.”

Read’s first season in the BCPSL went well enough for the Coastal technical staff to nominate him to attend Whitecaps Pre-Academy tryouts back in February with about 100 hopefuls. He initially thought he couldn’t attend all three sessions as his Coastal team was headed to Arizona for a tournament. However, snow postponed the determining tryout and paved the way for Read to make a lasting impression. He advanced to the next stage of 30 players before the roster was finalized.

The commitment is intense with evening training sessions Tuesday-to-Friday and at least one game on weekends. He spends much of his time working with goalkeeper coach Erin McNulty before joining the rest of the squad for scrimmages.

At 6-feet, Read has size going for him. He also credits his ability to come off his line in breakaway situations and make himself “big.” That’s where a couple of years of playing roller hockey and blocking shots helped his technique.

His time with South Delta United isn’t forgotten.

“A lot of credit goes to the club and coaches he has had over the years,” said his proud father Bryan.

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