Jay DeMerit(@D6MERIT) back with some stories to share on Goal.com. Here's the latest:
Steve Nash can play some futbol
As some of you might be aware, one of our team owners is former NBA MVP Phoenix Suns point guard Steve Nash. While it's difficult during the NBA season to come watch us play, he tries to come out as much as he can during the offseason. Last year we had the pleasure of having Steve workout with us for a few days.
It was during the NBA lockout and he was trying to stay fit. Steve worked extensively with our fitness coaches. It was good to spend time with him and see what type of person he is. He's such a good guy and he is really passionate about the sport.
The funny thing about Steve is he can actually play. He didn't look out of place with our first team. It's amazing how he comes in and keeps the ball. I don't know if I could say the same for myself if I trained with the Phoenix Suns. If he didn't play in the NBA, who knows, he could have been playing in MLS. He's such a good athlete.
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His brother Martin actually played with the Whitecaps. He retired before the team joined MLS last season. There's definitely professionalism in the Nash family and I'm sure if Steve would have chosen soccer, he would have fit right in.
It was good to get the season off on the right foot with 2-0 record.
I think what the management has brought in has been positive mainly because of the mentality that head coach Martin Rennie has. He believes in positivity and team unity. We all believe in that and the values that come with it. To get 25 players to buy into that and believe it can be difficult but he's made it work.
Getting a 2-0 win over Montreal was big for us. We had a great preseason and I was concerned that we might get overconfident from it. It was good to see that everyone responded well. Everyone was focused and to still have that good performance was the biggest positive for us.
I had a bunch of family and friends at the game and they loved it. A lot of people came from north of Vancouver. It was a good game for them to come and see. I think we converted a few fans.
One thing we've also learned is to not get ahead of ourselves. Last year, we have a great season opening victory and we all got overconfident. As a captain, the thing I stress to everyone is to not get too confident. Let's stay focused on the task ahead.
It also doesn't hurt when I can head in a goal every once in a while.
The rivalry between Montreal and Vancouver is still growing
There weren't many away Montreal supporters at BC stadium, so there wasn't a huge away support. Then again, the club sold 50,000 for its season opener, so the Impact definitely has fans.
I don't think the rivalry is at the level that gets when we go to Seattle or Portland or vice-versa. Both of those cities are closer. Then again, I think MLS has done a good job of cross promoting the matches around the times where the NHL teams are playing against each other.
The schedule of soccer player can be hectic
Off of the success of the Rise and Shine documentary, we are trying to expand for 2012. This will be the year of continuing to Rise and Shine. We plan to create a foundation that helps kids get scholarships to College.
While some might wonder how all of these projects fit all at once, it's all about who you work with.
You got to work with people who are as passionate about the project as you are. Then everything kind of falls into place. The groundwork is so efficient behind the scenes that when I come on, all I have to do is make an appearance.