Reflections on a memorable year for Jordan Harvey

A career year for #2 of Whitecaps FC, on and off the field

Harvey Cover Image

Photo Credit: 
Anne-Marie Sovin / USA Today

More than a century ago, a Danish journalist wrote a poem contextualizing life’s struggles to a stonecutter’s daily duties: “When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the one hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before.”

Jordan Cole Harvey had logged 10,648 minutes in his first eight seasons in Major League Soccer, where he spent time with Colorado Rapids and Philadelphia Union before joining Whitecaps FC in 2011. In those eight seasons, the UCLA alumnus found the back of the net twice; but of course, as a natural defender, scoring goals isn’t near the top of his priority list.

2013 Jordan Harvey Highlights

In the season that just passed, his ninth, Harvey not only split the rock, he hammered it with such authority that Thor himself would be in awe. Between June 1 and June 19, Harvey managed to bag three goals in the span of four games.

He finished the season with four goals, doubling his career output (two) all in one calendar year. The left back didn’t only score goals, he scored important ones, ones that served as touchstones of the peaks and valleys of Whitecaps FC’s 2013 campaign.

June 1 - The ‘Caps had managed only one point from their first five games of the season away from BC Place. And on the first day of June at Red Bulls Arena, the team went down 1-0 on 51 minutes. But seven minutes later, the equalizer was found through an unstoppable volley from Harvey. The Blue and White pushed on, and got their winner in the 83rd minute through a well-placed header from Scottish striker, Kenny Miller.

“It felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders after that goal in New York, the whole team kind of felt that way,” Harvey told whitecapsfc.com

“It was coming off the Montreal game when everyone was pretty devastated about losing the Amway Canadian Championship. We really wanted to rebound as a group, and I wanted to prove that I belonged out there… it was one of those games in which I knew I needed to go out there and prove myself.”

The goal turned out to be a catalyst for the club’s fortunes on the road, a turning point some might say - they managed to get at least a point in three of their next five away games after the 2-1 victory.

June 19 - The ‘Caps were on a roll heading into their Wednesday night tilt versus Chivas USA, having collected 10 points from their previous five games. Chivas rained on the ‘Caps’ parade early though, on a seventh minute strike from Tristan Bowen.

In a time of need, the ‘Caps found their equalizer, and once again it was Harvey leading the way.

Harvey scores the 10,000th goal in MLS history

Camilo played the ball through to Russell Teibert two minutes into first-half added time. The Canadian midfielder cut the ball back across the box and, after a touch from Camilo, the ball fell to Harvey whose shot was deflected past Dan Kennedy and into the Chivas USA goal to make it 1-1.

Less than a minute later, Camilo grabbed a second goal for Whitecaps FC, taking a 2-1 lead over their Western Conference rivals heading into halftime. It was a lead the ‘Caps would not relinquish, as the match ended 3-1.

And Harvey’s goal? It was goal number 10,000 in MLS history.

“It was really cool to get my name in the record books amongst some really, really quality players that have left their stamp in league history and nobody can take that away from me. That goal was fun, it was against one of my buddies too, Dan Kennedy, so I still rag on him for it once in a while.”

October 19 - The Blue and White were faced with a home and home with Colorado Rapids to determine their playoff destiny. Down 2-1 with about 20 minutes to salvage the club’s playoff hopes, against the club that drafted him ninth overall in the 2006 Supplemental Draft, Harvey put on his superman cape for one final time in 2013.

Harvey earns penalty kick against Colorado

The California native played a clever one-two with Camilo, before he was tripped up by Colorado’s Shane O’Neill in the box. The referee blew his whistle, Camilo buried the penalty, and Whitecaps FC’s playoff chances were anew, albeit temporarily.

“I thought that was one of my favourite plays of the season. We needed to win, we needed to press forward and as a fullback there’s a lot of opportunities where you feel like you should hold back because you might leave the team vulnerable in the back,” Harvey explained to whitecapsfc.com

“It’s situations like that where I recognize an opportunity to just push forward, I just try to take those opportunities, so I hope it continues.”

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Harvey's performances in 2013, coupled with his impressive year statistically, point to the best season of his nine-year MLS career.

“If you look at the numbers, that was definitely my best year to date," says Harvey. "If you look at performance overall, I thought there were a couple years in Philadelphia and Colorado where I also played well, but this year was definitely at the top.”

Off the field, the American defender was a regular at community events and was named Whitecaps FC's Humanitarian of the Year at the 2013 year-end player awards, presented by BMO, hosted at BMO's Main Branch in Downtown Vancouver. He was recently rewarded for his many contributions by having his contract option picked up by the club.

In terms of the offseason, it’s been a busy one for Harvey already.

He visited former Philadelphia Union teammate Chris Seitz, who was getting married. Wedding bells will soon be ringing for Harvey as well. In November, he got engaged to his long-time girlfriend, American singer, actress, and television hostess Kimberly Caldwell. The big moment came at Laguna Beach, California.

“I told Kim that my brother was proposing at the restaurant and wanted us there when he did it," explains Harvey. "Then I had him call and cancel, so we were out at a nice dinner alone. I then brought her to Laguna Beach and surprised her by getting down on one knee and singing Garth Brooks’ She’s Every Woman.”

Though Jordan used it as a ploy, his brother also proposed to his girlfriend, one week later.

"On a hot air balloon," explains Jordan. "My family and I held a sign below that said 'Say Yes!'"

Romanticism clearly runs in the Harvey family.

More recently, Jordan has joined fiancée Kim - a former American Idol finalist - during her tour performing with Celebrity Cruises this past month.

“One night, I was on stage with Kim in front of 1,000 people under a spotlight, when I walked out for the show and my guitar wasn’t on,” Harvey tells whitecapsfc.com. “It was hysterical. None of the crew were able to figure it out… I had to walk off the stage. I was out of my element for sure.”

It won’t be long until Harvey has a chance to be back in his element, flourishing on the pitch. Training camp will open in January under new head coach Carl Robinson, and Harvey will be looking to build on what has been a career year, on and off the pitch.