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Keegan Ayre wanted by multiple clubs

Loud Mouth Soup

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I remember reading somewhere that Keegan's father (I actually thought it was his uncle) had played in the old NASL.

Glad Keegan is generating interest. There are many more in that age group who could get a shot (witness the current U20 camp roster - to which I do not think he was invited) should Keegan pave the way.

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I found this article in an archive.


Teen carries dad's torch: Keegan Ayre is more creative than former Whitecaps player Garry

Dan Stinson

Vancouver Sun

22 July 2004

Coquitlam teen Keegan Ayre has picked up the family torch in soccer that his father put down more than 20 years ago. Both hope it will be burning brightly the next few days at Newton Athletic Park.

A talented central midfielder with the B.C. under-16 select team, Keegan is aiming to help the side win its age-group gold medal at the Canadian all-star boys youth championships at the sprawling Newton facility, which is also the site of the national under-14 boys all-star tournament this week.

Keegan is the 16-year-old son of former Vancouver Whitecap and senior national team midfielder-defender Garry Ayre, whose 10-year professional career (1973-82) also included stints with the New York Cosmos and Portland Timbers of the defunct North American Soccer League and two games in a Canada jersey at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Summer Games.

Garry Ayre's most memorable year in soccer was 1978, when he was a member of the Soccer Bowl champion Cosmos, whose star-studded roster included famed German international sweeper Franz Beckenbauer.

That, however, was a long time ago. On Wednesday, when the national all-star tournaments kicked off, Garry Ayre preferred to discuss his son's blossoming career.

"We are totally different players," Ayre, now 51 and in his 21st year as a Vancouver firefighter, said when asked if there are any comparisons to his former style of play and Keegan's current form. "I was always put in games as the so-called destroyer, the guy who marked the opposing team's best offensive player.

"Keegan is much more creative. He reads the flow very quickly, is a very good one-touch passer, scores goals and sets them up. All indications are that he will be soon playing at a higher level of the game."

The under-16 tournament will be watched closely by national under-17 team head coach Stephen Hart of Nova Scotia. It will help in his selection process for CONCACAF zone qualifying early next year to the FIFA under-17 World Youth championships, scheduled for June in Peru.

B.C. got off to a strong start on Wednesday as Ayre had one goal in a 5-2 defeat of Prince Edward Island. B.C.'s under-14 team was also winners as they defeated PEI 8-0 in their opener.

Keegan Ayre may already have one foot in the door for selection to the zone qualifying tournament, which will send the top two teams to Peru. During the past few months he helped his club team, the Burnaby Royals, win the B.C. under-16 championship and made his debut for Canada with a national under-17 development side that played in the Ballymena Tournament in Northern Ireland.

Seven of Ayre's B.C. under-16 teammates, including goalkeeper Andrew Fink and striker Liam Miller, also play for the Royals. Other key players on the provincial side are Alex Morello, Marinko Maras, Vince Naidu and Jorge Angel-Mira.

Ayre had a tryout with the Blackburn Rovers youth team of the English League this past March and was scouted by West Ham United of the English League and Hearts of the Scottish League at the Ballymena Tournament, which was staged in late April and early May.

"Keegan is a creative force in midfield," said B.C. under-16 team head coach Michael Findlay. "The bonus for us is that he now also brings the experience factor into play. His trip to Northern Ireland introduced him to a higher standard of the game. He was forced to play at a higher level just to help Canada stay competitive in the tournament.

"I have no doubt that playing in Northern Ireland has made him a better player."

Ayre demonstrates his maturity by insisting that he's taking his career one game at a time. His first priority is to help B.C. win its group at the tournament, then avenge B.C.'s semifinal loss to Quebec at last summer's under-15 national all-star championships in Saskatchewan.

Ontario defeated Quebec in the championship game and B.C. finished with the bronze medal.

"I feel that we have a very good chance to win the gold medal this year," Ayre said. "We have productive players up front, a creative midfield and we're very solid at the back. If we play to our potential, we have a good chance to win the tournament."

Ayre credits his father for introducing him to soccer.

"He took me to soccer camps when I was very young and that planted the soccer bug in me. I was too young to know at the time what my dad had done in the game, but he's definitely the guy who got me involved in soccer. I always thank him for that."

- Coached by Mark Parker, the B.C.'s under-14 select team's key players include midfielders Devin Gunece and Garatte Traversey and striker Cristobal Robles.

The under-16 and under-14 tournaments are being staged for the first time by the Canadian Soccer Association. The under-14 championship game is scheduled for 9 a.m. Sunday, followed by the under-16 title match at 11:30 a.m.

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quote:Originally posted by matthew

Ayre had three goals and four assists in only five matches with the Whitecaps U17 Super Y team. Liam Miller finished the season with 21 goals in 12 games . . .



Liam Miller? [:0]

Is it a different Liam Miller?

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