How Alphonso Davies earned his move to the MLS

By Dany Bahar, for CNN • Published 3rd September 2017

(CNN) — When Alphonso Davies, the Canadian-born MLS midfielder who’s now scored a major international goal in the space of one month, was 16 years old, he was going to Bayern Munich for a trial.

“When I went to Bayern Munich, the first two days I was really excited because I never got to try out, play a game in an actual team,” he says.

Davies worked on the fields of Bayern’s training facility, packed up his bags and left. The family then relocated to Vancouver to follow the talented sportsman.

But not before there was one final shot at football — the B.C. Lions’ live TV broadcast in Vancouver.

“It was like wow. They were all freaking out,” he recalls. “I was like this is the whole thing.”

Shortly afterwards, the family moved across the Pacific to Vancouver, one of the most multicultural cities in the world.

Talented young footballer

With his family, Davies now resides in MLS club Seattle Sounders’ Brockton College, a school in the Vancouver suburb of Surrey.

Davies says he is playing a soccer game against rugby under-16s in Surrey, British Columbia.

In that time, he’s also been offered football contracts to various European clubs — some they rejected, others he thought about taking up but ultimately passed.

Meanwhile, he has developed as a player at Brockton College, enjoying a good run of first team football in a mostly local A-league outfit.

But it’s in Canada’s 18-under men’s team, with a starting spot behind fellow MLS star and Arsenal loanee Reiss Nelson and Canadian international Alphonso Galloway, that he’s made his real breakthrough.

He’s now made 12 appearances, scoring three goals and earning a call-up to Canada’s senior team.

This year, he signed a personal, three-year contract to join Canadian club Vancouver Whitecaps.

But he’s now returning home to pursue a major development project, realizing his childhood dream to teach, by taking an internship at Canadian school NFT this summer.


A self-funded project aimed at getting students, the student body and staff of Vancouver-based NFT, to watch Davies every week.

Davies also created a workshop series, among them a week-long program devoted to him at Brockton College during August.

“My passion was just always football. It wasn’t going to just end when I went to high school,” he tells CNN.

“I always told myself it’s best if I do my education and my career, then I can come back and be back home and pursue my love again.”

‘The best player in the world’

At one point, he left Canada to play for Scotland.

But he soon realized he’d rather work in the sport he loves and became determined to lead more young players back home.

Davies was on holiday in Oahu, Hawaii, with his family when he received a text message from Vancouver.

“My family called me and were like ‘hey, Al you heard something about a 10 day trial with the Sounders and you’re going to go and start from the beginning, so you might as well start at Brockton College in Surrey,'” he recounts.

The 6 ft 2 ½ inch athlete who wore his trademark three stars and three stripes shirt to Brockton College says that he only recently started wearing a suit and tie at work.

“I was just thinking about how I can be a better person.

“I don’t feel that you become too much the star and you no longer fit into the team or the team doesn’t fit you. I try to just be me every day,” he adds.

Soccer aficionados are reacting well to his spectacular goal against arch-rival Seattle Sounders last month — an aerial drive from the edge of the area that dived into the far corner.

The aspiring coach took to Twitter — where he now has more than 690,000 followers.

A few hours after his goal, it was #Alty24 on Twitter.

“He was a remarkable talent. And always a remarkable character,” says Vancouver Whitecaps coach Carl Robinson.

“The game of football is really an art. And what I’ve learned from Alphonso and his ability to express himself and not affect his game and just be relaxed and have passion for the game, it speaks volumes for his character.”

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