MONTREAL – Louis Béland-Goyette has come a long way from playing soccer in his hometown of Pointe-Claire.
“I like to set my goals high,” he told Global News.
And it is – in about a week he’s heading to Toronto – one of only three Quebecers – to represent Canada in the Pan-American Games.
“It’s really an exciting tournament because it’s like the Olympics,” he said.
“I’ve never been in that kind of tournament before.”
The 19-year-old midfielder has been playing soccer since the age of four.
“I was playing hockey too but it was getting pretty intense with trainings and games for two sports at the same time,” he said.
He made the right choice.
“I didn’t even question myself so soccer was definitely the better option,” he said.
But he hadn’t thought of going pro until his Dad spotted an ad in the newspaper for the Montreal Impact Academy calling for young people to try out.
“It was amazing. I remember my Dad got the phone call and I was in school,” he said.
He officially joined the Academy in September, 2011.
“I wasn’t going to get any playing time with the first team so it was a good move for me to grow as a player,” he explained.
Béland-Goyette did admit he’s looking forward to playing on the national level – and he plans to train hard in the lead-up to the Games to get chosen for the starting line-up.
“It’s going to be an important week. We have a new coach and new tactics,” he said.
This will be Canada’s first soccer appearance in the Pan Am Games since 1999.
Canada will play against Brazil (July 12), Panama (July 16) and Peru (July 20) in the first round.