Pacific inks Vancouver-born goalkeeper Callum Irving

Pacific FC announced their fifth new signing of the off-season on Wednesday, revealing that they’ve added 26-year-old goalkeeper Callum Irving.

The Vancouver native developed in the Vancouver Whitecaps academy, playing for their various youth sides, before moving on to the University of Kentucky Wildcats, followed by a stint with USL side Rio Grande Valley Toros and then, ultimately, the Ottawa Fury.

The bulk of his professional career so far was spent in the nation’s capital, with 65 appearances between 2017 and 2019 — he played every minute of the Fury’s 36-game season in 2017.

Last year Irving made 36 appearances for Ottawa, posting 13 wins and eight clean sheets in 31 league matches. He helped the Fury to a playoff appearance, falling on penalties in their Eastern Conference play-in match, and he also appeared all four matches of their 2019 Canadian Championship campaign (including against HFX Wanderers FC).

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“Callum has been an excellent technical keeper in the United Soccer League for the last several years,” said Pacific coach Pa-Modou Kah.

Added PFC CEO Rob Friend: “Callum brings loads of professional experience, solidifies our defensive needs, and will create strong competition in the goalkeeper position.”

Irving also has some solid experience with Canada’s national team programs, having represented his country at the U-18 and U-20 levels before earning a cap with the senior team in a 2017 win over Bermuda. In fact, Irving lined up behind new Pacific teammates Marcel de Jong and Marco Bustos for Canada in that match, as well as another 2019 PFC player in the currently unsigned Ben Fisk.

In coming to Vancouver Island, Irving joins a pair of former Ottawa teammates from 2019 in Jamar Dixon and Thomas Meilleur-Giguère.

Pacific’s roster now boasts two goalkeepers, with Van Isle native Nolan Wirth already locked in for 2020. Presumably, this move will increase competition between the sticks for Pacific in 2020, after a 2019 season in which Wirth competed with Mark Village for the number one shirt.

The Tridents’ current squad has 15 total players (12 of which are Canadian), with the five newcomers and 10 players returning from 2019. They have the majority of their core from 2019 already locked up, with new coach Pa-Modou Kah adding several key pieces to help bolster a side that finished mid-table in their first season.