Nanaimo’s Callum Montgomery on ‘Game of His Life’ in Concacaf Champions Cup
Cavalry FC

Defender Looks Ahead To ‘Chance-of-a-Lifetime’ Showdown On The Road To Messi

Playing in his Home on the Island

Callum Montgomery of Nanaimo, BC is heading home for the ‘game of his life’ in the first round of the Concacaf Champions Cup—the start of a two-match series that could pave the way to a faceoff against the legend Lionel Messi and his club Inter Miami.

Callum Montgomery, 20, with the Victoria Highlanders
Callum Montgomery, 20, with the Victoria Highlanders (Photo: Gord Ruth Photography)

Callum and the Cavalry FC squad will come up against Major League Soccer’s Orlando City SC at Langford’s Starlight Stadium on February 21—and the defender is asking locals for support as he seeks to inspire young dreamers from Vancouver Island.

As one of the only players on his side to have squared off against Orlando previously, and the only one to have scored a goal against them, former Victoria Highlander Callum could prove to be the rock that takes down the giant for Cavalry, who topped the Canadian Premier League last year to quality for the tournament.

“I’m so honoured to play a match of this magnitude on the island,” said Callum. “Growing up, I idolized the college players on Vancouver Island but it’s amazing that now kids can come and watch professionals play in their backyard. I’ll be playing my heart out for the enormous community of Islanders who supported me, and to show kids growing up here that if I can do this, they can too. It would mean a lot for people to come back us at the game.”

The Road to Lionel Messi

If successful in the round-one matchup against Orlando, Cavalry FC could be just two games away from battling Messi’s Inter Miami. The Florida-based MLS team is also co-owned by former Manchester United superstar and English football legend David Beckham.

Lionel Messi with Inter Miami CF
Lionel Messi with Inter Miami CF, a potential matchup should Cavalry FC advance further in the tournament (Photo: Concacaf / Inter Miami CF)

“The idea of playing against Messi, and in front of Beckham, is unbelievable,” added Callum, who spent four years in the MLS with teams in Texas and Minnesota. “But first, we have to take on Orlando. I’ve played them four or five times. They’re used to playing on a bigger pitch in the sun, so we’re hoping for some cold rainy weather. If we’re brave and disciplined, and stick with our processes, we stand a chance.”

A Career Highlight

The tournament will be a career highlight for the lad who, along with his sister Meg, 23, was raised in Lantzville, on the north tip of Nanaimo, by family doctors Ian, 64, and Kirsty, 62.

Callum and his Family
Callum and his family

From a household of Chelsea FC supporters, Callum started kicking a ball around as a toddler before joining a Timbits recreational league, where dad Ian took on a passionate coaching role. Later, both parents would juggle their work hours to back Callum’s blossoming career, eventually moving him to St. Michaels boarding school in Grade 11 when the weekly drives to Victoria for games and practice with the Vancouver Island Wave became too much.

“Making the move to St. Michaels was life changing,” said Callum. “It was during my time there that I transitioned to the Victoria Highlanders under head coach Steve Simonson and blossomed from the middle-of-the-pack to someone people took notice of. It was also where I met a group of guys who are still my best friends, and I can’t wait to play in front of them.”

Callum also pays credit to a host of families who took care of him and let him sleep on their couches, including Highlanders co-owner Brett Large and family, and the Merriman family. While most of Callum’s trip home will be about focusing on the big game, he hopes to grab a coffee with teammates in his favourite spot.

“I’d love to take them down to Victoria’s Inner Harbour for a few minutes of calm,” he said. “I’ve travelled a lot, but not many places can compare.”

Matchday Info

Tickets for the match on Wednesday, February 21 at 7 p.m. PT are available for as low as $25 via Ticketmaster.

High-tempo dance band The Pickups, featuring Victoria singer Greg Baan-Meiklejohn, will get the crowd moving with pre-game and halftime funk, R&B, and soul sets, from 5:30p.m. PT (doors open at 5p.m. PT).

Visit or follow us on social media for more info.

Buy Tickets