A rising star in Canadian soccer got his start on the New Westminster pitch.
Taryck "T.J." Tahid has been named to the men's national under-17 soccer team for the 2023 FIFA World Cup in Indonesia, starting next Friday, Nov. 10.
The 16-year-old, originally born in Maple Ridge, played this past season with Vancouver FC of the Canadian Premier League (CPL) - the second highest level of professional soccer in the country.
In fact, at 16 years and 16 days, Tahid became the youngest player in history to sign a standard contract with a CPL club and scored three goals in 20 appearances.
The first stop on Tahid's soccer journey was in New West at the age of three.
He played with New Westminster Africa United FC for several seasons with the summer soccer program. His family found the community as they are of Ghanaian descent.
And as such, Tahid is eligible to play for Canada or Ghana at the international level.
Soon, the 5'10" midfielder will don the maple leaf in southeast Asia for the FIFA U-17 World Cup, which will be his first-ever international competition.
Tahid currently has two caps with Canada under his belt after playing in a pair of friendlies in Brazil, debuting as a starter in the Sept. 29 match in Soracaba.
Canada is set to take on Spain, Mali and Uzbekistan in the group stage. The top two will move on to the knockout stage.
In program history, the Canadian U17 men's team has yet to win a game in its eight appearances at the tournament held every two years.
Tahid will look to earn his start with Canada for its opening match on Nov. 10 against Spain.