Photo courtesy Steven Christy / OKC Energy FC
OTTAWA – Ottawa Fury FC announced the signing of goalkeeper Callum Irving on Tuesday, as the Canadian goalkeeper remains north of the border following a standout first professional season with Rio Grande Valley FC in 2016. The signing is pending league and federation approval.
Irving joins Ottawa after spending time in the past season with both the Toros in the USL and on loan with the Houston Dynamo in MLS. The Vancouver, B.C. native recorded eight shutouts in 14 appearances with the Toros, allowing only nine goals.
“Callum’s ability with his feet allows us to fully transition into a team that can build from the back in 2017,” said Fury FC Head Coach Paul Dalglish. “This is a key signing for us that allows us to play our style. The fact that he is Canadian and that we get the chance to develop another player for the Canadian National Team pool is another added bonus.”
The 6-foot-1 goalkeeper played four years at the University of Kentucky in NCAA Division 1. He was a two-year team captain, two-time Conference Player of the Year (Conference USA), two-time NSCAA All-American and two-time NSCAA All-American Scholar.
Irving is a product of the Vancouver Whitecaps FC Academy (2007-12), where his success there translated into opportunities in the Canadian National Team system with the U18 and U20 sides. He also competed in the PDL for the Whitecaps FC U-23’s, and this past January, he received his first call-up with Canada’s Men’s National Team for an international exhibition against the United States.
“I am extremely excited to be signing with Ottawa Fury FC,” said Irving. “They are a fantastic club who have shown over their short history that they are committed to being successful on the field as well as growing the sport within Canada.
“I believe that the opportunity to finally return to playing in Canada after being in the United States for the past five years was too good to pass up. I look forward to getting to Ottawa to meet my teammates and hopefully bring the fans the results they deserve on the field.”
Dalglish is confident that with the two recent signings, his club is going in the right direction heading into the debut season in USL.
“With these two signing, couple with the others we have managed to bring in and re-sign, we now have the player profiles to play the game I want to see played,” he said. “It is now up to us to jell together and win as many games as possible in an entertaining manner.
“It takes time to build a team that we can all be proud of and we appreciate the fans’ patience and understanding in 2016. 2017 will be our year.”