TORONTO – Days away from turning 29, Kyle Porter is back in his familial home of Ontario, ready for a fresh start with York9 FC.
“I have had many great years and a couple that have felt like roller coasters,” Porter told CanPL.ca as clubs across the league build towards pre-season.
If Porter’s recent seasons were akin to amusement park rides, 2018 was his version of the Leviathan at Canada’s Wonderland.
The Canadian international began 2018 with the Ottawa Fury before a lineup shuffle saw him shipped to Tampa Bay Rowdies last summer. His ninth different stop in nine seasons, Porter eventually looked elsewhere late last year as playing time dried up in Florida.
“It’s hard when you come to a point where you say, ‘I don’t know why I’m not playing.’ Or, ‘I haven’t been given a reason why’. That type of thinking can weigh on you mentally, but it just makes you a better player in my eyes,” Porter said.
— First Touch Football (@FTFCanada_) December 17, 2018
“(Joining York9 FC) was a great chance for me to grow mentally and as a professional, especially considering what was to come.”
When he suits up for York9 this spring, Porter will have represented four professional Canadian soccer clubs — impressive, in a way, considering there were only three when his career began with the Vancouver Whitecaps a decade ago.
Ten years later, the right winger reflects back on a career that’s included an impressive stint in Major League Soccer and appearances at the highest level with Canada’s national team.
A long-shot, perhaps, to return to international soccer, Porter saw a chance to “refresh” his career as Canadian Premier League clubs were unveiled last year.
“Knowing the CPL was coming to fruition, it gave me a bit more confidence,” Porter added. “I’d be able to refresh myself, in a way. A couple of years ago, when there were limited jobs close to home, you’re playing worried at times.”
Following his move home, the Mississauga, Ont.-native is ready to step off the ride.
“Unfortunately, I haven’t had the chance to play every week the last couple of years, but here I see an opportunity for that, which is what I’m most interested in at this point,” Porter finished. “I want to part of a club that values me and has me a part of their greater vision.
“Moving forward, I plan to be a day-in-day-out starter for this club.”