Vancouver Whitecaps FC goalkeeper Sean Melvin has impressed many people since signing an MLS contract with the ‘Caps earlier this year. Having first joined the ‘Caps in 2010 as a Residency player, his hard work and determination over the years have been rewarded with a call-up to the MLS Homegrown Game on Tuesday against Mexican club Tigres' U-20 team as part of All-Star festivities in Atlanta (5:30 p.m. PT, watch LIVE on Twitter).
Having spent so much time in training, working day in and day out, waiting for his opportunity, Melvin has earned a well-deserved reward for his efforts. Some players might be nervous about playing in a showcase game, but Melvin feels proud and is ready to enjoy himself and take in the entire All-Star week as a whole.
“I think it’s always a good thing to be recognized by the league and your peers,” Melvin said. “I’ve been a part of this club for so long, any experience I can get that puts me outside of my comfort zone and into a new environment, it will be a valuable learning experience. It will be great going down there with other homegrown players, too.”
Whitecaps FC goalkeeper coach Stewart Kerr has experience working with a wealth of top class keepers. Kerr described Melvin as a great kid, who continues to get better every day. He praised his work ethic, stating it’s arguably his best attribute. Kerr is delighted that Melvin has deservingly received a call-up to the Homegrown Game. His advice to Melvin is simple, take it all in and soak in the atmosphere while he’s there.
“It’s a big positive for him,” Kerr noted. “He’s a great kid and he’s done very well since he’s come in to the first team. You’re going to be playing with the best young players in North America. I know he will do well in the game. And when he comes back, its about continuing to work hard and when the opportunity comes, take it.”
Born and raised in Victoria, BC, Melvin made the move to Vancouver at the age of 16 after being scouted by the ‘Caps. He went through just about every phase a Canadian can go through. From playing with his local club, to provincial programs, onto the Residency program before playing in PDL and college competitions. He would eventually sign a USL contract with Whitecaps FC 2 before earning a well deserved contract with the first team in 2018. Now he has his sights on making his first team debut.
“It’s something everyone dreams of and works towards, and it took a while to get here,” Melvin added. “Personally I’ve always wanted to be here specifically because coming from Victoria, [Vancouver] is as close as you can get in an MLS team, so it’s more special. I’ve been with the first team and involved in the 18 before. You see all the action up close and you’re thinking, man, I’m close now. You’re itching for it and it’s something I think about all the time.”
When you talk to Melvin about his goals and his dreams, there is no question he has the ambition to be successful in a ‘Caps jersey. You can see his hunger and passion to play for the club in his eyes. For Melvin the hard work continues every day, with a clear focus on making the next step in his journey.