Following the conclusion of the NPSL season, FC Buffalo midfielder Keane McIvor traveled to Italy to participate in a showcase with popular clubs and players. It was there that he received the call that would drastically change his soccer path.
McIvor, who hails from Trinidad & Tobago, received a call from an agent in his home country that said a second division Swedish club was looking for an attacking midfielder. McIvor was brought in by Gottne IF for a two-week tryout and signed after just 10 days.
“I think my creativity could add a lot to this team and I could do well in this league,” McIvor said. “I haven’t seen much outside of this league yet, but from what I’ve seen I think my creativity could play a big part in the team’s success scoring goals and getting assists.”
The midfielder’s time in the U.S. soccer system has prepared him for the task at hand. Gottne IF will require strict conditioning and defense. After being raised on tactics and passing in Trinidad and Tobago, it took McIvor around a year to adapt to a more complete style. He then spent years honing his craft at Robert Morris University and FC Buffalo.
Six goals and 17 assists in 43 matches came as a result of McIvor’s three years at Robert Morris. Head coach Bill Denniston played a large role in the midfielder’s career. He put his confidence in McIvor as a leader and a scorer.
“I don’t think the offensive part of his game was ever a problem,” Denniston said. “His ability to handle the ball. He can run as fast with the ball at his feet as most teams can run. His touch is very technical, he’s a super dribbler, unusually gifted. He knew what he needed to work on and he did.”
McIvor finally found his jumping off point in FC Buffalo and the NPSL. In 2018 he scored three goals and made two assists in nine matches and was a nominated for the East Conference Best XI.
“I felt more comfortable this year playing in the NPSL,” McIvor said. “I enjoy the league, I played against a lot of quality players, more than in my past. The league helped shape me for Italy and here. It kept me fit, it kept me on point and it kept me in form technically, tactically and shaped me for where I am now.”
Exposure abroad was first found for McIvor in his formative years, playing for Trinidad & Tobago’s national youth teams. During those years, McIvor received boundless support from his family in Diego Martin persevering through injuries and uncertainty. It’s his hope to one day make it back to represent Trinidad & Tobago on the senior national team. But first, he has work to do with Gottne IF in Sweden.
“I hope it’s the first step of many to help build my profile as a soccer player,” McIvor said. “To get my name out there, to perform well so other people can see me so I can continue moving on to higher levels. I hope to reach the highest level possible that I can.”
Contributor: Jeff Helfrich/NPSL.com
Photo Credit: RJZphotography.com, David Hahn/CS