Aldergrove’s Joel Waterman became the first player from Langley-based Trinity Western University to win a spot on the national team training camp. On Nov. 13, he was named to the Canadian team that will compete at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. (TWU file image)

Aldergrove’s Joel Waterman became the first player from Langley-based Trinity Western University to win a spot on the national team training camp. On Nov. 13, he was named to the Canadian team that will compete at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. (TWU file image)

VIDEO: Aldergrove’s Joel Waterman is playing for Canada at the World Cup

Fulfilment of life-long dream for 26-year-old

Aldergrove’s Joel Waterman is playing for Canada at the FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association) World Cup in Qatar.

For the 26-year-old centre back, who began playing soccer at age five with Aldergrove Youth Soccer Club, it is the achievement of a lifetime dream.

READ ALSO: Aldergrove’s Joel Waterman gets an invitation to the national soccer team training camp

Waterman used to have a schedule on his wall with a entry for 2026, the year when Canada, Mexico and the United States were to host the FIFA World Cup, when he hoped to be playing for Canada.

He is four years ahead of schedule, having made his debut on the Canadian team playing against Bahrain in a pre-tournament “friendly” or exhibition game on Friday, Nov. 11 — less than two weeks before the World Cup got underway. Waterman played the full 90 minutes, as Canada came from behind to pull off a 2-2 draw.

“There were a lot of emotions, but it is a day I will definitely remember for the rest of my life,” Waterman told the Canadasoccer.com website.

 “I called my parents, both my mom and my dad,” said Waterman. “The family was all together sitting at home watching and when they saw I was starting, you know, they were crying and cheering. There are so many emotions, just knowing what they have sacrificed, making sure I was there on Saturday mornings, all the driving they had to do, and just knowing how many things I had to give up to be here. My parents are a part of this as much as I am, so this was everyone’s success.”

Two days later, he was officially named to the Canadian team.

Joel Waterman has gone from Aldergrove Youth Soccer Club to Major League Soccer. Now, he has realized a lifelong goal of playing for Canada at the FIFA World Cup. He was officially named to the team Nov. 13. (Right: Stuart Gradon photo)

Joel Waterman has gone from Aldergrove Youth Soccer Club to Major League Soccer. Now, he has realized a lifelong goal of playing for Canada at the FIFA World Cup. He was officially named to the team Nov. 13. (Right: Stuart Gradon photo)

Waterman’s roots go deep in Aldergrove and Langley.

When he turned 12, he joined Langley United Soccer Association (LUSA).

At 13, Waterman was selected for the British Columbia provincial team where he was coached by current LUSA technical director Mark Parker.

 Waterman is an alumni of Aldergrove Community Secondary School, where he was coached by Brian Hunter and Stuart Crowley, and remembered as a gifted player.

“Technically, I was his coach, but Joel played at such a high level, it was more like having a coach on the field,” Hunter recalled.

This marks Canada’s first participation at the men’s FIFA World Cup since Mexico 1986, though Hunter noted that Waterman is not the first ACSS grad to play in the tournament.

Another Aldergrove player, Randy Ragan, was a midfielder on the ’86 team and his jersey, along with Waterman’s, hangs on the school’s Wall of Fame.

Aldergrove Community Secondary School principal Mike Palichuk (left) and former ACSS soccer coach Brian Hunter stand with former student Joel Waterman’s Montreal soccer jersey, which hangs in the school’s Athletics Wall of Fame. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Aldergrove Community Secondary School principal Mike Palichuk (left) and former ACSS soccer coach Brian Hunter stand with former student Joel Waterman’s Montreal soccer jersey, which hangs in the school’s Athletics Wall of Fame. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

In 2014, Waternan began playing for Langley’s Trinity Western University, where he registered nine goals and five assists in 57 career games (48 starts) and, as team captain, helped the TWU Spartans win a Canada West silver medal.

Waterman made his professional debut in 2018, playing for the Calgary Cavalry FC of the Canadian Premier League, helping Calgary win the spring and fall championships on the way to the CPL finals, where they finished second.

In 2020, he became the first CPL player to transfer to a Major League Soccer club, CF Montréal, where he went on to become a regular starter for the club.

READ ALSO: Canada players say team belief is strong ahead of World Cup opener against Belgium

Canada’s first game at the World Cup was scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 23 against Belgium, followed by games on Sunday, Nov. 27 against Croatia, and Thursday, Dec. 1 against Morocco .


Have a story tip? Email: dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

AldergroveLangleysoccer

Be Among The First To Know

Create a free account today, and start receiving free newsletters.

Sign Up with google Sign Up with facebook

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Reset your password

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

A link has been emailed to you - check your inbox.



Don't have an account? Click here to sign up