One year after competing in the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates, where he scored two goals, Jordan Hamilton made his senior debut for Canada, entering as a late substitute in a 0-1 loss to Colombia. Since then, he has earned one additional cap, while working hard to become a regular for Major League Soccer’s Toronto FC (career: 17 games/3 goals). The 21-year-took some time to speak to CONCACAF.com about his life in football and future.
How old were you when you first started to play football?
I started to play football when I was two-years and nine-months old in Scarborough, Toronto, and I have loved the sport ever since.
Growing up to which player did you look up?
Growing up, I looked up to many players. Specifically I looked up to Thierry Henry, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Samuel Eto'o. These players were special in my eyes.
You joined Toronto FC as a youth player in 2011. How key has Toronto FC been in your development?
I feel like Toronto FC has done a great job in developing me nicely over the years. It’s just down to getting chances and taking them at this point in time in the first team, which I am sure I will get in time.
You scored in the 2013 CONCACAF Under-17 Championship in a 4-2 win over Jamaica to help Canada qualify for the U-17 World Cup. How would you describe your feelings afterwards?
I will cherish those memories with that Canada U17 team for the rest of my life. Playing and scoring in a World Cup was something that I’ve dreamed about since I was a little kid and was highly emotional. I hope to one day do that at a senior level. I grew up in a Jamaican household as my mom and dad were born in Jamaica, so it was an interesting feeling.
You went on to play in the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates, scoring two goals in three games. How was that experience?
The experience in Dubai in the UAE was one of the best experiences I’ve had playing soccer. Going head-to-head with the best young players in the world was an amazing experience and one I will never forget. Many don’t get to play in a youth World Cup, but for me to play and score at a youth World Cup was an amazing achievement.
You went to make your senior debut for Canada in October 2014 against Colombia. What are your memories of that experience?
It was a thrilling experience. A young kid making his senior team debut against one of the best teams in the world: Colombia. I felt very proud for myself for reaching such a level. This was another priceless moment.
What advice do you have for young people who want to play football professionally?
Practice every day in your house, at school, at the park. Luckily, growing up, my friends and I were really into sports, so we'd always play at any break or recess. I truly believe that’s where I fell in love with the game.
Outside of football, what do you like to do for fun?
Outside of football I like to watch TV series, spend time with friends and family, research the internet and relax.