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Pointe-Claire native represents Canada in Pan Am Games

FC Montreal's Louis Béland-Goyette.
FC Montreal's Louis Béland-Goyette. Montreal Impact

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.

“I’m really proud of what I’ve done so far but for me it’s just the beginning.”

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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.”

READ MORE: Chris Hadfield to carry Pan Am Games torch through downtown Toronto

The 19-year-old midfielder has been playing soccer since the age of four.

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“I was playing hockey too but it was getting pretty intense with trainings and games for two sports at the same time,” he said.

“It was getting too much so at one point my Dad told me I had to choose.”

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He made the right choice.

READ MORE: Youth create murals to welcome athletes for 2015 Pan Am Games

“I didn’t even question myself so soccer was definitely the better option,” he said.

Louis Béland-Goyette in action with his team, FC Montreal.
Louis Béland-Goyette in action with his team, FC Montreal. Montreal Impact
Louis Béland-Goyette with his team, FC Montreal.
Louis Béland-Goyette with his team, FC Montreal. Montreal Impact
Louis Béland-Goyette in action with his team, FC Montreal.
Louis Béland-Goyette in action with his team, FC Montreal. Montreal Impact

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.

READ MORE: Pan Am Games $53.5M under budget for infrastructure spending: report

“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.

After a brief stint with the Montreal Impact, Béland-Goyette was transferred to the second team, FC Montreal, which made its début in the United Soccer League (USL) this year.

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Louis Béland-Goyette with his team, FC Montreal.
Louis Béland-Goyette with his team, FC Montreal. Montreal Impact

“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.

“I want things to move quickly but you have to be patient too. I have to play to show my value.”

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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.

READ MORE: Canada’s Pan Am Games uniforms inspired by Canadian flag

“It’s going to be an important week. We have a new coach and new tactics,” he said.

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“It’s a different kind of experience than the league.”

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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.

rachel.lau@globalnews.ca

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