VANCOUVER, BC – The camaraderie from being on a team often makes players feel like brothers. But for Matthew Baldisimo, that feeling has held more true than most.
Matthew puts his arm around younger brother Michael after a big goal in the 2015 USSDA Playoffs (Bob Frid)
“I thought it was the best thing in the world,” Matthew told The Burnaby Now in 2014. “Soccer was the only thing we could do together. (Mark) would come home and tell us about what he learned at practice.”
Mark graduated from the Residency program in 2014, but that love for the game that grew from Mark has led to a special day for the family, as today Matthew was signed to a professional contract with WFC2.
“The family dynamic creates a sense of competition both on and off the field which has helped to fuel Matthew’s development,” noted Residency technical director Craig Dalrymple. “He has benefitted from the advice of his older brother Mark, and also the big brother role he has had to serve for his younger brother Mike. The Baldisimos are a ‘true’ Whitecaps FC family.”
With time spent both heeding words of wisdom and sharing it, Matthew was named captain for Canada at the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship tournament.
According to Sean Fleming, head coach of that U-17 team, Matthew earned the armband for his “tremendous attitude” and “leadership by example”, which included the winning goal in an opening win over Haiti.
“He was a man of few words and let his actions and performance speak for themselves,” added Fleming. “He was well respected by his teammates.”
Oldest brother Mark with U-18 Residency in 2014, playing with that signature Baldisimo tenacity (Anne-Marie Sorvin)
All traits that have been bred within him as a brother in the Baldisimo family – a group that includes youngest brother Jeffrey, currently working his way through the youth soccer ranks.
“I think we are very similar,” Mark told The Burnaby Now about himself and his brothers. “Our personalities and how we play as well. We’re really quiet people off the pitch, but on the pitch we come alive.”
“We’re more comfortable on the field,” added Matthew. “Everything else is out of our mind, it’s just a focus on soccer. We’re different people on the field.”
Now Matthew continues his rise, pushed by his brothers to reach the highest levels he can.
This year, every Tier 1 ‘Caps Club MLS membership includes three open tickets to WFC2 matches. More information on how to select your WFC2 matches will be sent out with your Tier 1 MLS membership packages. All ‘Caps Club Members can upgrade to the full WFC2 season for only $7 per month over 12 months, while Youth can get WFC2 season tickets for $2 per match.
Tier 2 season ticket memberships are also now available, while single match and group tickets will be available in March. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 604-484-7862.