Coach's cornered in Province Q&A - The Province

Misses his family, loves Vancouver and its distinct lack of wind

By Marc Weber

In any previous year, Vancouver Whitecaps head coach Teitur Thordarson would be heading home to Scandinavia right now, lamenting that one missing goal during the season that could have lifted his team to the title.

But here in North America we have this thing called playoffs, so Thordarson was forced to stick around with his second-place squad and answer questions from The Province's Marc Weber.

What are your overall impressions of the season and how life has been in your first year here?

The life has been fantastic here. I really like the city and I like the club. The quality of the league has been much better than I expected. I don't think we've played any game this year that hasn't been hard and tough.

You like using the word "fantastic." What's the most fantastic thing about Vancouver?

The whole city. It's beautiful. And for us, who are working in soccer, what I like is that it's never windy. We are used to that from Scandinavia, from Iceland. It's always windy.

Have you had a chance to venture out at all? See some of B.C.?

Just day trips, yeah. Up to Whistler. To Harrison Hot Springs a little bit, but not any further. But I've seen enough to say that I really like it.

You are living out in West Vancouver. What's your favourite spot?

I like the sea wall very much. I enjoy walking from Ambleside out to Dundarave. Thinking about the game in a relaxed environment.

What do you miss most about home?

My kids (daughter and son in their 30s) and my four grandkids. Not being able to visit them, I feel that's quite tough. I will surely go over when we finish the season.

How about the food? Is it much different?

I'm well taken care of in that case -- my wife joined me here after six or seven weeks. In Iceland, the culture is a lot of lamb. That's one of the things we have a lot of. Lamb and fish.

What's the strangest question people ask you about Iceland?

There are a lot of people who don't know anything about it, so the strangest question is, "Where is that?" Iceland is of course not a big country. Only 300,000 people living there, so I understand. It's only one road in Vancouver.

I hear the guys in the office were giving you a hard time watching the Iceland/Scotland World Cup qualifier recently.

It was a strange feeling because I didn't know until then that the biggest part of the office was Scottish. I thought I had some supporters, but I was wrong. They weren't even real Scottish. They didn't have their dresses [kilts] on. But I don't know if they were always that way, or if Iceland were leading one- or two-nil, maybe they could find some people in their family from Iceland.

Which player has been the most pleasant surprise for you?

First of all, I'm very surprised by how the whole team has tackled what I thought would be a big concern: The long road trips and the back-to-back games. When I saw the schedule I just couldn't see how this was going to be possible.

But if you're going to pick players, there are two who have been quite decisive for us. Eddie (Sebrango), 35 years of age, has an injury history longer than a book. I didn't ever imagine that he would play basically all the games for us. Another one is Jay Nolly. He's had so many decisive saves in the games. There's no doubt these two players have influenced our results quite a bit.
© The Vancouver Province 2008