Officially speaking, it’s now been two months since Whitecaps FC 2 and 20-year-old striker Myer Bevan put pen to paper on a contract with the USL side. Due to international duty for his native New Zealand in this year’s FIFA U-20 World Cup, the 6-foot-1 striker had to wait until June 24 for his home debut at UBC Thunderbird stadium.
But he made his grand introduction to WFC2 fans in their last match, scoring a second-half equalizer, and garnering him a USL Team of the Week bench selection, and a nomination for Goal of the Week.
Born and bred in Auckland, the largest city in his native New Zealand, Bevan began playing soccer at a young age on the local community team before joining semi-pro side Western Springs AFC. Soon after he was back in his hometown developing his game with the Auckland City FC youth team.
Through his soccer journey in New Zealand, 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.”
Bevan is used to being away from home as he continues his trajectory up the professional pyramid. His first big move came in 2016 when he was singled out from over 200 other Kiwi players to join the Nike Football Academy in London, England.
While at the Academy, Bevan relished his opportunity to play against other 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 his 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-Whites teammates in South Korea for the U-20 World Cup. Exceeding expectations, the Kiwis made it out of the group, not without the help of newly signed Bevan, 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.
Bevan says experiencing the World Cup is something he will take with him the rest of his life. He had played in some qualifiers but admits it’s nothing like the main event.
“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. For me, the highlight was the moment after Honduras because we were going through, and that was our goal to get out of the pool. It was a crazy experience and I enjoyed it a lot.”
With the Nike Football Academy, and the U-20 World Cup behind him, Bevan is settling into his new home here in Vancouver.
Although it’s only been three weeks you get the sense the ‘Caps have someone who can grow into a player of the future.
“I love this city. I just moved into my apartment so it’s awesome. It’s a beautiful city, I’m enjoying the team so far, and the teammates have welcomed me in.”
With goals like the one he scored last weekend, it's easy to see how the city and WFC2 fans alike will love him back.
Bevan and Whitecaps FC 2 are back in action when they visit Orange County SC on Saturday, July 29. They are back home on Wednesday, August 2 when they host Rio Grande Valley FC for a nooner at UBC Thunderbird Stadium. Visit whitecapsfc2.com for tickets.