Aldergrove pro athlete now plays as himself in favourite childhood video game

Aldergrove pro athlete now plays as himself in favourite childhood video game

Joel Waterman was inducted into the popular FIFA 20 franchise in January

Born in Aldergrove, professional soccer player Joel Waterman has come a long way from kicking around a ball with friends on local fields and playing video games with his brother.

The 24-year-old signed for the Montreal Impact in January, becoming the first Canadian Premier League player to be sold to Major League Soccer.

Financial details of Waterman’s two-year contract were not disclosed.

“I don’t think anyone expected a small-town kid from Aldergrove to make it to this level. I sure didn’t growing up,” Waterman told the Aldergrove Star.

What followed his new contract in late February was new territory for the player.

Waterman was ushered into the virtual world of international soccer (or football) with his very own character in the FIFA video game franchise from EA Sports.

RELATED: Aldergrove soccer player makes history as first in CPL to be signed by the Major Leagues

His in-game stats have him listed as having a $265,000 release clause, as well as being top-rated for skills of jumping, strength, and stamina.

His overall rating in the game is 58, with the potential to rise to 64 in career mode.

Players stats are suggested by a series of 5,000 data reviewers made up of coaches, professional scouts, and season tickets holders – points which are taken into consideration by EA Sports editors.

View this post on Instagram

Dreams➡️Reality👋🏻🤟🏻

A post shared by Joel Waterman (@jjwatermann) on

Gamers are also able to review the defender in the game.

Waterman admits to playing himself in the FIFA 20 video game, on Xbox One.

“It’s crazy. I still haven’t gotten used to playing myself [in the game],” Waterman admitted.

“The game was my childhood,” he said.

READ MORE: Aldergrove entourage swarms BC place for soccer coach gone pro

It was only a year ago that Waterman signed his first professional-level soccer contract with the Cavalry Football Club. 

There, in the Canadian Premier League, Waterman played 25 regular season games and three Canadian championship games. He helped the team secure the best defensive record in the league with 19 goals conceded.

Waterman was initially drafted by the Trinity Western University Spartans early in Grade 11, while he attended Aldergrove Community Secondary School – from which he graduated in 2014.

soccer

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Black Press Media files)
Snowfall expected for Lower Mainland on Saturday night, Sunday morning

2 to 5 cm of snow predicted Metro Vancouver, according to Environment Canada

Police were called to the scene of 198A Street and 81st Avenue on the evening of Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. (Curtis Kreklau/Special to Black Press Media)
VIDEO: Possible shots fired on Langley/Surrey border Thursday evening

Police had one vehicle towed and gathered evidence at the scene

Snow is forecasted to appear in parts of Metro Vancouver this weekend. (Black Press Media files)
WEATHER: Flurries in the forecast for Sunday

Langley could see snow throughout the week starting Jan. 23

Agates like these are up for auction on Jan. 27 at Aldergrove’s Able Auctions site. (Able Auctions/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Gems and geodes up for auction in Aldergrove

The auction has everything from diamonds to amber

Flip City’s Elise Van Harmelen at the 2017 Langley Invitational at the Langley Events Centre. Flip City is one of 11 local sports groups getting COVID relief funding. (Langley Advance Times files)
Langley sports clubs get COVID relief funding

The province is giving cash to groups hit hard by shutdowns

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

Fire on Yale Road north of the overpass Friday morning. (Progress file)
Early morning blaze guts Chilliwack restaurant

The fire erupted north of the overpass closing one lane of Yale Road

A specialized RCMP team is investigating a suspicious trailer, which might have connections to the illicit drug trade, found abandoned outside a Cache Creek motel. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
Police probe U-Haul trailer linked to illicit drugs left outside Cache Creek motel

Hazardous materials found inside believed to be consistent with the production of illicit drugs

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Gov. Gen. Julie Payette takes the royal salute from the Guard of Honour as she makes her way deliver the the throne speech, Wednesday, September 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Gov. Gen. Julie Payette resigns, apologizes for ‘tensions’ at Rideau Hall

Payette, who is the Queen’s representative in Canada, has been the governor general since 2017

Most Read