A year can be a long time in football. A lot can happen. A lot can change. And that’s certainly been the story for Patrick Metcalfe.
Last June, Metcalfe was taking to the Swangard pitch to play for a Vancouver Whitecaps XI against TSS Rovers in a friendly. Fast forward nearly a year, and Metcalfe will be wearing TSS colours for the PDL season ahead.
But before we fast forward, let’s take a look back at what’s brought Metcalfe to the Rovers.
Metcalfe joined the Whitecaps Residency program in March 2016 from Fusion FC, going on to make 13 appearances for the U18s that season as they agonisingly lost the USSDA Championship game against FC Dallas in extra time.
The Richmond native impressed immediately, featuring as an academy call up with the ‘Caps USL side, and training with them, before signing his first pro contract in April last year with WFC2.
His playing time was split between his final year in the Residency program and the USL, making 33 appearances for the U18s and four for WFC2 during the 2017 season.
Then came the bombshell announcement. The Whitecaps were disbanding WFC2 in favour of an affiliation with new USL expansion side Fresno FC. A number of players were offered deals to head down to California. A number declined.
Metcalfe was left with the decision of heading to college here in Canada or trying his luck overseas as a footballer. Enter UBC Thunderbirds head coach Mike Mosher.
Mosher had heard that Metcalfe was already taking some courses at UBC and reached out to the midfielder to see if he’d be interested in becoming a Thunderbird. He was, and Metcalfe joined the team for the end of their Canada West season, making seven appearances and adding two assists as UBC wrapped up another conference title and a place at the nationals.
Metcalfe will be back with the Thunderbirds this coming U Sports season, and he’s guaranteed another shot at the nationals, with UBC hosting.
But he still harbours ambitions of playing pro and that’s where TSS Rovers come in this summer.
“When I was in the Residency, it was definitely a really tough decision,” Metcalfe told AFTN back in November. “Going to college, getting an education for four years, probably all paid for, or going the pro route. Ever since I was younger all I can remember at school when they said what do you want to be when you’re older, I put professional soccer player, so that was exactly the route I wanted to go.”
With the Canadian Premier League on the horizon, all these guys know that they’re in the shop window this coming year and Metcalfe is keen to shine.
Metcalfe’s PDL debut is going to be slightly delayed, however, as he recovers from a back issue that’s kept him out these past few months. But he’s nearly back to fitness and is raring to get started with his new team.
He’ll certainly be part of a formidable TSS midfield alongside the likes of fellow Residency alumni Marcello Polisi, who is back for his second season with the Rovers and has been in fantastic form this past season with both the SFC Clan and Rino’s Tigers.
Rovers head coach Colin Elmes is delighted to have Metcalfe as part of his squad this season and hopes to have him in the mix to start sooner than he even expected.
“He was a professional footballer up until October,” Elmes told AFTN. “He’s a player that we knew could come in and make an impact immediately. He’s been carrying an injury for a while, but he’s been training pretty much full here, but we’re being cautious a little bit. He’s still got a little bit of lower back, sciatic stuff going on.
“At first, based on the diagnosis and stuff, we thought that he might not be ready at all. Then we thought it might be game five, six. Now we’re thinking it might even be by game three. So we’ll have to see how the training goes.”
Once Metcalfe is good to go, Elmes is sure he’s going to be that impactful midfielder he’s brought him in to be.
“It’s been clear though in the eight or ten sessions that we’ve had to start our preseason off, he’s a very calming influence,” Elmes told us. “He reads the game well and sort of glides around the park. He hits a very good pass. So we know that when he gets a hundred percent healthy, for sure he’s going to contribute to us going forward.”
If you haven’t already got your season tickets to see Patrick and the other lads play, what are you waiting for?! Eight matches (seven league and one friendly) for only $70 for adults and $49 for children, it’s the best value soccer you’ll find in the lower mainland. Get them HERE and if you can’t make it along to every match, the club have a donate a ticket scheme where you can help someone who can’t afford a ticket make it out to a game. The first match is this coming Monday against Lane United. Be there!