30 Under 30: Caleb Clarke
High school: R.C. Palmer
Like his younger sister Summer, almost two years his junior, Caleb Clarke is a goal scorer.
And like Summer, he’s demonstrated that special ability at the international level for Canada, which has been goal-starved in recent years.
Clarke is currently in Pueblo, Mexico with the Canadian under-20 men’s team which is trying to qualify for the World Cup later this year in Turkey. He scored a pair of goals in a 5-1 win over Nicaragua earlier in the CONCACAF qualifying tournament, before coming down with Montezuma’s revenge.
Clarke scored a team-high 26 goals last season with the Vancouver Whitecaps’ residency squad, which reached the final of the North American Academy Championships. He also impressed in his first taste of Major League Soccer with the Whitecaps’ senior squad.
Clarke, who showed his natural goal-scoring prowess early by leading Richmond Madrid to Metro league titles from U13 to U18, was also the leading goal-getter for the provincial squads from U13 to U15.
Despite his youth, Clarke’s talent has also afforded him a pair of tryouts with teams overseas—loaned by the Whitecaps to Erfurt of Germany last season. In 2009, he trained with Udinese Calcio in Italy.
Clarke believes his goal-scoring ability is God-given, but credits his dad Clive for everything else he needs to be an elite player.
“He’s always been there, helping me improve my fitness and skills,” he said.