Where are they now: Mark Watson
WHERE HE WAS: Mark Watson was born in West Vancouver, BC, where he would play his youth soccer before attending the University of British Columbia.
“I got my first break when I was 19 and playing for the West Van Trollers,” remembers Watson. “I was spotted by Bruce Twamley. He brought me into the Olympic training squad where I was to learn my trade as a footballer.”
WHERE HE WENT: Watson’s professional career started in 1990 with Ottawa Intrepid in the Canadian Soccer League (CSL) and ended in 2007 with Charleston Battery in the United Soccer Leagues (USL) First Division. During his accomplished career, Watson played in numerous leagues around the world in Canada, the United States, Sweden, and England. His playing days in Vancouver included Vancouver 86ers 1993-1994 and Vancouver Whitecaps FC in 2005, where fans appreciated his no-nonsense style as a defender who took no prisoners.
“It was great to play in Vancouver in front of my family and friends,” recalls the hometown boy. “My dad was a season ticket holder and I remember growing up watching many Whitecap greats.”
Mark is the third most capped player for the Canadian men’s national team, making 78 appearances and scoring three goals. One of his goals was the winner of a semi-final game versus Trinidad and Tobago that would see Canada go on to win the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
“I had many great moments for Canada including tying Brazil 1-1 in Edmonton, and the qualifying run in 1994 when we almost reached the World Cup Final.”
Watson coaching career started as an assistant with Canada as they played in the 2004 qualifying tournament, and again in 2008. In 2006 he returned to Charleston Battery where he would become a player-assistant coach.
WHERE HE IS NOW: Watson can know be found in Northern California where he has been assistant coach with San Jose Earthquakes since 2010.
“I am really enjoying coaching and I’m happy to be learning from one of the best coaches in the game in [fellow Vancouverite] Frank Yallop.”