Since the Whitecaps XI family has added two new contributors (including myself), I thought we should take this opportunity to help you get to know us a little better. So, over the next three editions of ‘Starting XI’, we will be featuring ourselves.
1.) What was your journey to Whitecaps fandom?
I was born and raised in Mexico city where soccer is a way of life so when I moved to Canada I continued to follow everything about Liga MX and my favourite team CF America. However, there was a hole in me that needed to be filled. When the Whitecaps joined MLS and I had to opportunity to go to a game during the inaugural season, I knew they were what I had been looking for. I have been a season ticket holder ever since.
2.) What other leagues around the world do you follow?
I definitely keep tabs in my home country’s league, Liga MX in Mexico but as a football fan I also follow the Premier League, La Liga and Serie A.
3.) Complete the phrase: “If you don’t anything about the Whitecaps the one thing you need to know is…”
To have a better understanding of what this team is about, you must go and experience a live game. You will not regret it.
4.) What Whitecaps player do you identify most with?
Being a central back myself, I identify the most with Whitecaps captain Jay DeMerit. He is an example of strength, determination and fierce competitiveness. Unlike many players, you can tell he has gotten where he is now from hard work and training as opposed to a “natural talent”. He is a leader and a role model. I would like to think that I share that profile in my own play.
5.) Who is your favourite current or past Whitecaps player?
This is a very tough one for me. As I said before, I identify the most with Jay DeMerit. However, I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to watch YP Lee play on a regular basis. His quality and top class experience is palpable every time he takes the pitch. I also think that Nigel Reo-Coker has everything needed to become the face of this team and a star in the league.
6.) If you could add any player to the Whitecaps roster who would it be and why?
I think that Gareth Bale would be a great addition to the team. His ability to play on the wing on both sides of the pitch, in addition to being able to play as a midfielder or an attacker makes him the most complete player today. However, as the Whitecaps need more fullbacks, I heard that Fabio Coentrao wants out of Real Madrid so I would be happy if they manage to bring him in.
7.) What has been your top Whitecaps MLS moment to date?
While most people would argue that the win over Seattle is the biggest one in club history, I still get goose bumps when I think about the last minute, game winning goal scored by Eric Hassli against San Jose last summer. It was a magical moment.
8.) What is your favourite football moment?
I have been around long enough to have witnessed many incredible games and football moments. The one that sticks in my mind the most was last month when my Mexican team CF America conquered their 13th championship in the team’s history. They cinched the win in penalty kicks after dramatically tying the game in the last 2 minutes of stoppage time when their goalkeeper scored in the 93th minute to tie it up. I went absolutely nuts.
9.) How do you see the Whitecaps fitting in the Vancouver sports landscape?
I think that team has an incredible opportunity to become a landmark in the Vancouver sports environment. It is the beautiful game in a beautiful city. With the team getting positive results and the accessibility to live games when compared to other sporting options, the opportunity for the Whitecaps is huge. I am confident that the Whitecaps are the best value for your money. The Vancouver market expects success from their sports franchises and therein lies the key to the Whitecaps’ continued growth.
10.) What do you think is necessary for MLS to reach the next level?
I think the signing of David Beckham really turned the page and put MLS on the football world map. Beckham’s signing was followed by those of Thierry Henry and, most recently, the return of Clint Dempsey. The continued addition of players of this caliber and fame keep raising the profile of the league. The attraction and retention of talented players will help bolster the league’s reputation and rank among others in the world. Most recently, during the Scotland vs England friendly, Tyler Martin’s commenting on Kenny Miller’s play and life in MLS was a huge endorsement for the league.
11.) What do think about all this fan-generated content (blogs, podcasts, etc) and what do they do to raise the profile of the team and the sport in the city?
I think that it shows two things. That Whitecaps fans are highly passionate and are viable market. The second thing is that we are hungry for coverage and content and we take it upon ourselves to fill that void
12.) How do you think the Whitecaps will finish the season?
I am confident that they have shown that they are a playoff bound team. I will be very shocked if they don’t make it to the top 5 in the Western Conference. I will be extra happy if they host a playoff game
13.) Tell us a little more about your soccer history
I grew up in Mexico. I started watching soccer at age two, then took to the pitch when I was seven. I haven’t stopped ever since. I have played outdoor, indoor, 7v7, and coached a couple youth teams. I have played every position on the field at different points in my career but I am best as a true Central Back. I currently play for Astro FC in the VMSL and I serve as the club administrator (we currently need a goalie!). I also consume as much soccer content as I can on TV, radio, online and in print. And, I am happy to now be a content generator with my contributions for WhitecapsXI.
If you have any other questions for me, leave them in the comments or contact me on Twitter