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Colorado a sort of homecoming for Rapids star Irwin

Colorado Rapids goalkeeper Clint Irwin is realizing his dream of playing professional sport in a vaguely familiar area.

The 25-year old, who was born in Oklahoma before moving to Charlotte, arrived in Colorado last year to eventually become the Rapids' number one gloveman.

What Irwin did not know when he signed for the Rapids after stints in Charlotte and Ottawa was that he was returning to a region of much history for his family.

According to the Denver Post, Irwin's distant relatives (the Vidal's) were some of the earliest settlers in the Gunnison County area making his shift to the Denver Highlands somewhat of a homecoming.

"I really didn't know much of anything about our family tree when I got here," Irwin said.

"I knew my mom's side was more on the western half of the country. But it was sort of when I got together with my uncle at my house that he was like, 'You realize that our whole family grew up less than a mile from here?'

"I've since seen some of the pictures of the (Vidal family), and it's like pictures you see on the History Channel. Covered wagons and stuff. It's pretty crazy to see those pictures and realize those are your ancestors."

Irwin added that there was something peculiar about the fact he has now found his niche in professional soccer in such a significant family area.

"It's weird how this has become where I've found my most success as a professional player, where I kind of realized a dream."

While his mother Nancy added: "We don't think this is any coincidence. I've talked to other family members who kept telling me: 'He's going to wind up in Colorado somehow. He's got angels from there working on his behalf.'"

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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