Callum Irving Selected for Canadian National Team to Play U.S.
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Newly minted Kentucky soccer alumnus Callum
Irving – a two-time All-American and Scholar All-American– has earned his first
call-up to the senior Canadian Men’s National Team.
The UK great was named to head coach Benito Floro’s 23-man squad that will play a friendly against Jürgen Klinsmann’s U.S. men’s national team next week.
The Canadian team’s camp began earlier this week ahead of the Canada v USMNT match on Feb. 5 at the StubHub Center in Carson, California – outside Los Angeles. The match is scheduled to kick off at 10:15 p.m. ET on FoxSports1
“I’m extremely excited and grateful for the opportunity to represent my country,” Irving said. “I can't wait to get started."
Irving was called up to Canada’s MNT for the first time in his career after rising through the ranks of the Canadian youth setup.
Irving led Kentucky to an undefeated run through the 2015 conference season, earning Kentucky’s first-ever Conference USA Championship. And perhaps more impressively, he did so while conceding just one goal in eight league matches.
He finished his UK career with the program’s all-time records in shutouts (27) and goals-against average (minimum 2,500 minutes – 0.86).
“I love this place,” Irving said of his UK career. “I came in as a freshman and it didn't quite go exactly as I had planned. Everyone comes in with a thought of how they want it to go, and it went the exact opposite of that. The coaching staff had a lot of faith in me still, as well as my teammates.
“I kind of found my place here and found my home. Over the past three years, I can see where we built it from and see that I had an impact on it. I just feel really lucky to be here the past four years. I have enjoyed my time, and I think I will be following UK men’s soccer forever. It is my family now.”
For the second time in as many seasons, Irving garnered three C-USA men's soccer specialty awards as he was voted the Conference USA Player of the Year, the Conference USA Defensive MVP and a First-Team All-C-USA selection -- all accolades he was bestowed a year ago. He also repeated as recipient of the Golden Glove Award, given to the goalkeeper who posts the most shutouts in C-USA play. Irving posted a 0.66 goals-against average (11th, NCAA) in 19 matches in 2015, totaling nine shutouts. Seven of the clean sheets came against C-USA opponents as he notched a 0.12 goals-against average, allowing just one goal in eight conference matches (773:45 minutes). Irving was named All-America by the NSCAA last season.
The best coverage of UK men's soccer is available via @UKMensSoccer handles on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.