This coming Saturday, Vancouver Whitecaps FC will be celebrating Fan Appreciation night at BC Place, as they take on Colorado Rapids in their season finale . In honour of the outstanding support that the club has received throughout their inaugural MLS season, whitecapsfc.com profiles some of the fans who've packed the stadium week in and week out.
Raj Porter, a Whitecaps FC season ticket holder for the first time ever this season, has been a soccer fan for most of his life. Spending a fair amount of his childhood in England visiting his grandparents, he often had the chance to immerse himself in the traditional soccer culture. Once he attended his first match – which was a home game for Gillingham Football Club – it was official, he was hooked. Raj’s early passion for soccer has been stoked yet again via Whitecaps FC. He had seen a few games at Swangard Stadium over the years, but when he got the chance to become a season ticket holder for the ‘Caps inaugural season in Major League Soccer (MLS), he couldn’t pass it up.
“I have always loved soccer, both playing and watching,” said Raj. “Being a season ticket holder for the first time has been nothing short of a fantastic experience.”
Raj has enjoyed many highlights from this season with Whitecaps FC, but there are three, in particular, that truly standout above the rest. For obvious reasons, the opening game of the season was a huge high point of the season for him, as the excitement of finally having a big-time professional soccer team in Vancouver was a large part of why he became a season ticket holder.
Another fond memory was the Manchester City match, which was a significant event for him and his family.
“I was able to take my dad to that game, which was an incredible opportunity,” explained Raj. “Seeing such an elite English Premier League squad up close was a special moment for my dad and me.”
Finally, the greatest moment for Porter this season was the Sporting Kansas City game.
“It was such a thrilling game to come back from 3-0 [down] to tie it 3-3 and gain a draw in the end.”
Over the entirety of the season though, even with the results not always going the ‘Caps way, Raj doesn’t remember ever leaving a match disappointed or not entertained.
“Through losses, draws and wins; I have always left the matches happy.”
For next season, he is looking forward to a multitude of things, including more success. But above all else, he is eager to see the growth of the fan base, the maturity of players and the rebuilding of longt-standing rivalries around the league.