The Vancouver Whitecaps called upon a Penticton-born goalkeeper to save the day on July 13 after the team suffered multiple injuries and fell behind 2-1 against FC Cincinnati.
Isaac Boehmer, 20, made his MLS debut last night, stepping in at the 45th minute after the team’s starting goalkeeper Cody Cropper was forced to leave the game due to injury.
Boehmer, a former Okanagan Falls resident and product of Penticton’s Pinnacles FC, was stellar in his first taste of professional action as he made a number of key saves helping Vancouver leave Cincinnati with a 2-2 draw.
“Isaac was monumental,” Whitecaps Head Coach Vanni Sartini told reporters after the game. “It’s not only the big saves but for a kid who’s never played in the MLS to be thrown in the middle of this game with a lot of fans can be overwhelming. We know Isaac is a cool cat and he maintained his composure.”
The 20-year-old first signed with the Whitecaps in August 2020 after spending time in Germany for a training stint with FC Schalke 04’s youth academy.
Boehmer went on to climb through the Vancouver ranks thanks to his efforts at the team’s Okanagan academy centre.
After the injury to Cropper during Wednesday night’s match, Boehmer was approached on the sideline by his head coach. It was the moment he knew his lifelong dream of playing in the league was about to come true.
“I was told to start jogging around and to get ready for anything,” Boehmer recalled to Black Press. “It was super exciting.”
His “monumental” performance, particularly in the 86th minute, helped keep the score tied after the Whitecaps’ Cristian Dájome scored just four minutes earlier.
“When I’m in the moment, I’m focused on the game,” Boehmer said. “Afterwards, though, I definitely thought about all the sacrifices everyone has made for me…teachers, coaches, my family. I’m just so thankful.”
While the goalkeeper will never forget his debut performance, what made him most happy on Wednesday was that his team walked out of Cincinnati’s TQL stadium with one point.
“I’ve only played 45 minutes so there’s still a lot more proving of myself I have to do,” he said. “This was another stepping stone in my career and I’m ready to keep on going.”
His friends and family in the Okanagan, however, didn’t exactly show the same level of calmness after the Whitecaps’ 2-2 draw.
“It took me a while to go through all of the text messages I got from people,” Boehmer said with a laugh. “All my close friends and people I grew up with were just so happy for me.”
Next up for the Whitecaps is a visit to Portland for a showdown with the Timbers on Sunday, July 17.