Myer Bevan, David Norman Jr., Dominick Zator - goal celebration

Meet Myer Bevan: Hungry 20-year old Kiwi talks journey from New Zealand to England and now Canada

This story originally appeared on whitecapsfc2.com last July, and was updated following Myer Bevan's move to the first team on Wednesday.

New Whitecaps FC striker Myer Bevan has enjoyed quite the year in 2017, from international competition with New Zealand to signing a first team contract on Wednesday.

The six-foot forward represented the Kiwis in the FIFA U-20 World Cup, made the move to Vancouver and joined Whitecaps FC 2, and earned his first senior call-up for the New Zealand national team in World Cup qualifying. 

It didn’t take Bevan long to make an impression on the Whitecaps FC coaching staff, when in just his fourth appearance in Vancouver, and second start for WFC2, he scored a laser goal against Reno 1868 FC. The goal had him nominated for USL Goal of the Week.

Head coach Carl Robinson says while Bevan thinks the game well, he still needs to physically mature to reach his full potential. 

“He's young, he's hungry. He's got great movement. He likes to get in the box," said Robinson. "Any forward that you have, you want the fundamentals of holding the ball up. When the ball goes wide, the first instinct is get in the box, he's got that. Physically, he needs to develop a little bit.”

It's interesting to note that thanks to family ties, Bevan has acquired his Canadian citizenship, making him a domestic player on the Whitecaps FC roster. 

For Whitecaps FC 2, a season full of growing lessons for a young, developing team in the USL, Bevan was able to contribute with three goals in only 11 starts and 13 appearances. 

Maybe the most impressive achievement this year was receiving the call-up to the New Zealand senior national team for their two-leg series against Solomon Islands. After making his debut in the first leg as a substitute, Bevan was inserted into the starting XI, and scored his first goal for the national team in the 14th minute of play.  

The goal brought Bevan's soccer journey full circle from the early days playing the game on the local community team in Auckland. 

Through his soccer journey, there has always been one constant - his mother. 

“Big role, mum. I can’t thank her enough. It’s just been me and her from the beginning, she’s always supported me everywhere I’ve gone. Obviously, it’s hard to be away from home but I’ve got tattoos on my body for my mum so I can’t thank her enough for what she’s done.”

Prior to signing with Whitecaps FC 2, Bevan was part of the Nike Football Academy in London England. While at the Academy, Bevan relished his opportunity to play against other young top-end players from across the UK. It was his time playing for the Academy where professional teams from North America saw the young Kiwi as a player of interest, and one to pursue.

Bevan is the first to attribute his time at the Nike Football Academy as the stepping stone to the professional ranks.

“Nike Academy was awesome I can’t thank them enough for what they did. I played against some of the best players I’ve played against in my career so far. It was awesome to be over there in and around a professional environment to go play against teams like Liverpool, it was unreal. I’m thankful because I wouldn’t have gotten the contract if it weren’t for the academy.” 

Days after signing with Whitecaps FC 2, Bevan joined his All-White teammates in South Korea for the U-20 World Cup. Exceeding expectations, the Kiwis made it out of the group, not without Bevan's help, who led New Zealand to a 3-1 win over Honduras in their second match. Bevan scored a screamer in the first minute of the match before adding an insurance goal on a penalty kick in the second half. 

“In the World Cup, you live like the pro you’ve always wanted to live like for a month. You’re chased around, you got police cars following you, it’s unbelievable, and to be playing at such an event, at such a stage you have so many eyes watching you.”

If Bevan has it his way, he will soon have the eyes of 'Caps fans when he takes to the pitch in MLS as well.