Vancouver Whitecaps FC Pick Up U of W player & Surf SC Alumn – Justin Fiddes
In the First Round, 17th pick, the Vancouver Whitecaps FC have scooped up San Diego’s own Justin Fiddes.
Soccer News: The moment when lives change — that is what the MLS SuperDraft is.
Being eligible for the MLS SuperDraft is a great accomplishment — only 200 players were in the pool — but being picked in the first round is the hallmark of a successful collegiate and youth soccer career.
— Surf Soccer Club (@SurfSoccerClub) January 19, 2018
Atlanta born and raised in Southern California, Fiddes’ youth soccer career started at the well known San Diego Surf Soccer Club when he was just 7 years old. A Surf SC player U8 to U18, Fiddes is thought of as a homegrown success story. Fiddes was also in the national team residency program in Bradenton in 2011.
An early product of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy (DA), Fiddes played up the first year and benefited from the years of focused training.
After a collegiate soccer career as a Husky, where his game continued to excel, Fiddes is now living the next stage of the player-athlete dream. A right back player who is comfortable on both sides, Born on January 3, 1996, Fiddes is a 5′ 11″ Fiddes is a versatile player who believes in hard work and wants to make an impact.
— USL PDL (@USLPDL) January 19, 2018
In the immediate moments after he’d been selected in the draft, Fiddes said, “It’s unbelievable, no one ever knows what to expect. I’m so happy to be picked up by Vancouver. I’ve always wanted to play in the MLS, so I’m extremely excited.”
Obviously overjoyed, Fiddes was extremely happy to be selected by Vancouver as he is currently in the area playing college soccer saying, “I love this area and always wanted to stay up there.”
“This is a dream come true,” said Justin Fiddes.
“I want to thank all my coaches at Surf SC, and I have to give a shout out to Nico, Joe, Montel, Paul Currie and all those wonderful coaches who helped me develop,” said Fiddes.
“I went into it not expecting anything but really hoping for the best and it was awesome to share that experience with my mom and my dad who have watched me play forever,” said Fiddes. “I wasn’t nervous in the very beginning but as people started to get picked, I began to wonder if the next one could be me ….”
“When I heard my name, my heart sprang up,” said Fiddes.
“Of course I was really excited and I was a little nervous — and my hands were sweaty. I am so thrilled to be selected by Vancouver,” said Fiddes. “I see so many players who have potential but quit or move on to another sport, they are just not willing to put the work in. I think the biggest challenge to getting to this moment in my life is perseverance and putting the work in every day to get better.
A Surf player since Day One who has moved on to wonderful things and is still the same hard working, nice and humble kid I knew back in the day. I know there are great things ahead for you @justinfiddes. Congratulations! #JustinProud
— Colin Chesters (@colinchesters) January 20, 2018
“College soccer was a huge benefit and in these last four years, I have developed faster than ever before and I have to thank my coaches and my teammates. Playing at U of W also helped me gain recognition and get my name out. That was huge,” said Fiddes.
“I am going to Vancouver and will work as hard as I possibly can and no matter where I land on the depth chart — I am just going to work to help my team and improve my game,” said Fiddes.
Colin Chesters, the Director of Coaching at Surf SC while Fiddes trained said, “Justin played his whole career at Surf — starting off with coach Joe Panian, then coach Mike “Nico” Nicholson and Paul Currie. I don’t remember Justin ever missing a practice or game in 10 years and he was always first and foremost a great teammate.”
“Fiddes always dreamed of becoming a professional soccer player,” said Chesters.
“In the DA, Fiddes’ talent, raw speed and his commitment to continued growth made him one of the best 50 players in the nation. He has obviously continued to grow as a player with his recent draft into the MLS. Who knows what he may be able to accomplish,” said Chesters.
“The San Diego Surf SC is great,” said Fiddes. “I was there my entire youth career and I love Surf. Love the fields.”
Josh Henderson, VP of Soccer Operations and the Senior Director of Coaching at San Diego Surf SC today says “This is a proud day for the Surf family celebrating Justin Fiddes first-round selection to the Vancouver Whitecaps. Fiddes represents everything we strive for at Surf SC — on and off the field.”
“This week is unprecedented for Surf SC — having two boys selected in the MLS combine; Justin Fiddes and Brian Iloski. Iloski attended UCLA and was drafted by Colorado Rapids in the 4th round,” said Henderson.
“It takes a great deal of skill and preparation to earn roster spots at top colleges like these and we are very proud of our players. We look forward to Fiddes and Iloski returning to visit with us and inspiring our younger players,” said Henderson. “This solidifies Surf SC as the preeminent boys club in San Diego.”
According to Montele Graves who also coached Fiddes at Surf SC coach and now is with the University of San Diego as a women’s soccer assistant coach,
“Justin aka ‘Fiddy’ is a coach’s dream.”
“Fiddes is a triple threat in speed — physically, mentally and technically he is extremely fast as well as he is even-footed,” said Graves. “Justin Fiddes is this good due to his tireless work rate — he truly gets better every day, every week, every month and I believe the sky’s the limit!”
Mike “Nico” Nicholson assistant coach for University of San Diego men’s soccer, and who coached Justin Fiddes for years at Surf SC and said, “It was a pleasure to be involved in Justin’s soccer experience at the youth level.”
“He always had a great athletic ability and soccer IQ. I believe he has an excellent upside and I look forward to following his continuing development. It’s cool to watch a young boy grow into a man and achieve his goals,” Nicholson said.
“I’m delighted for Justin on this achievement,” said his former coach Paul Currie. “Justin deserves all his success. He has always been an influential player due to his natural talent, great athletic ability and strong desire to learn and improve. His work ethic is outstanding and will stand him in good stead for the challenges ahead.”