Developing with the Calgary Rangers I have learned so many things, not only skills on the field but also what being a part of a team is. The Rangers have helped me focus on my position and the skills within it; whether coming from a Technical Director or a Coach, they were always very focused on the player's development. Playing with the Rangers has given me so many opportunities and some of my fondest memories, both on and off the field. The Rangers have provided me with a great community supporting my growth. My teammates are like family and I will miss seeing them everyday. I am excited to begin a new start to my career with the Whitecaps residency program and continue to play the game I love!
We are proud to announce that Calgary Rangers GU17 FC05 Captain, Ireoluwa Omotayo, has committed to the Vancouver Whitecaps FC Academy Super REX and been invited to the Canada U17 National Team Camp in Spain.
Ireoluwa Omotayo started playing soccer in 2011 at six years old in a House League and Joined Calgary Rangers Soccer Club at age nine where she played for the Rangers FC 2005 team for the rest of her minor soccer career. With her Rangers team, she participated in several city, provincial, and USA tournaments.
"I really love the feeling of community and family that Rangers holds. Whether it was watching the national team play, or playing for a title of our own, within my team I was able to find amazing friends, and I’ve made even more throughout the entire club. All the coaches are seriously invested in the wellbeing and development of their players both on and off the field, and teammates are willing to fight for and support each other in everything they do. One of my favourite memories has to be when my team travelled to San Diego to play in the Surf Cup, where we got to play against strong competition and show off our skills"
Calgary Rangers Technical Director Ash Gooch has been Ireoluwa's coach since 2014 says "Ire is a solid defender first and foremost, very dominant in 1v1 situations and is comfortable on the ball. She's an incredibly determined individual who comes from a great family and I can't wait to follow her career as she pushes for that next level."
Ire's family has always supported her soccer journey and the Rangers club and her mum spoke highly of her experiences, "Ireoluwa is very fond of her Rangers Family - her teammates and their parents, coaches, fitness trainers, and the larger Rangers community. She will forever value the opportunity to Captain her team and will hold dearly the memories from team bonding events, games, and tournaments. Once a Ranger, always a Ranger!"
We would like to congratulate Ireoluwa on her achievement and wish her all the best in her next steps! From your Rangers family… good luck, Ire!
We are proud to announce that Calgary Rangers homegrown local, Alex Ochoa, has committed to the Vancouver Whitecaps Academy and will be moving to Vancouver!
Alex has been at Calgary Rangers since the age of 5 in our Young Rangers program. He played in many city finals and tournaments through his grassroots development. At 11, he had his first true high-performance experience with his Boys U12 2007 team when they were able to take a tour at Glasgow Rangers FC in Scotland. Alex was selected by Glasgow Rangers FC technical staff to play in a half-time game during a Scottish Premiership match of Glasgow Rangers FC at Ibrox Stadium. Alex reflects, “It was a wonderful experience, one I will never forget.”
In 2019, Alex suffered a devastating injury with a torn ACL and lateral meniscus that would have him sidelined for over a year. In May 2020, he was able to undergo surgery to repair the damage and begin his rehabilitation journey. Alex connected with his long-time strength and conditioning coach, Taylor Evernden at Orka Performance, to begin the process of healing. “It was very difficult,” Alex says of his return to play journey. “What that taught me most was, first and foremost, to enjoy football. To enjoy every single second of it. Just like anything, it can get taken away very quickly. I trusted the process and was fortunate enough to be surrounded by positivity in my parents and family, as well as Taylor at Orka and my Rangers coaches.”
After 13 months of recovery, Alex had his first official game back in July of 2021 in an exhibition match for the debut of the Alberta Youth Soccer League with the Calgary Rangers 2006 Boys team. Shortly after that game, Alex received his official invitation from Vancouver Whitecaps welcoming him to their Academy.
Alex will be moving to Vancouver with his mother as he begins the next chapter of his development journey. “What I have loved most about being at Calgary Rangers is really the sense of community,” Alex says. “It’s a giant family with all the coaches, the players, all the teams… it is something special.” Having been approached by other local clubs early on in his development, Alex reflects on his journey with Rangers and the attention each individual player received as he was growing up. “I trusted in what they could provide and my family trusted them. My family, coaches, and teammates have always been my biggest supporters.”
Anyone who knows Alex will not be surprised at the way he concluded his interview before jetting off the Vancouver. “Although this is a big step, in some ways it is only the first step. We keep moving forward.”
We would like to take this time to congratulate Alex on his achievement and wish him well in the next steps! From your Rangers family… good luck, Alex!
Kimia Kassanda moves from Calgary Rangers to Vancouver Whitecaps and then onto KAA Gent in the Belgium premier league.
Kimia and his brother Mukendi joined the Rangers from Lethbridge back in 2018. Kimia was under the tutelage of Rangers Technical Director Ash Gooch for 3 seasons before being selected for the whitecaps BMO academy in Vancouver and finished the last 2 seasons as the top goal scorer for the 2005 boys’ team.
Kimia’s spell at the whitecaps was sort due to moving back to Belgium where he was born. He was quickly spotted by KAA Gent academy staff and selected into the U16 academy squad in 2020.
Calgary Rangers are proud to have been part of Kimia’s journey and wishes him and his family all the success in the future as we continue to monitor his progress.