While Steve went on to become the NBA's MVP, Martin fashioned a solid career playing soccer
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
The shadow cast by his older brother never did dissipate. Not when Martin Nash was playing indoor soccer in Edmonton, or when he was playing outdoor with the Rochester Rhinos, and certainly not now that he is back in Vancouver playing with the Whitecaps.
But the veteran midfielder with practised play-making skills readily switches from a discussion about soccer to a conversation about basketball -- more specifically, Steve Nash, the Phoenix Suns guard who has been twice named the NBA's most valuable player.
Both brothers grew up playing soccer in Victoria but it was Martin who stayed on the pitch. Steve starred on the court at Santa Clara
University in California before he was drafted by the Suns.
"He was a very good soccer player.
He could be playing now if he wanted to ... I think he chose the right sport in the end," said the
soccer-playing Nash, who is in Edmonton for tonight's exhibition match against David Beckham and the L.A. Galaxy.
Obviously, the wow factor of Beckham isn't anything new to Nash.
"He's my brother so I don't mind talking about him -- and we've always been close. But it's just natural. He's a star and people always want to know about him. The guys here ask, too."
As for the younger Nash, he settled in Vancouver fours years ago after
touring Europe and North American, playing indoors and out.
The father of two was the team MVP in 2007 and re-signed with the Whitecaps in January.
"Things are going well," continued Martin, who played with the Edmonton Drillers before the team folded operations in the now defunct National Professional Soccer League.
"He has special talent, a lot of respect in the league," said assistant coach Todd Wawrousek. "I don't think he's hit his
top form yet. We're working with him diligently to get his fitness there, but he does a tremendous job for us as a team leader."
The Whitecaps, three games into their United Soccer League season, will travel from Edmonton to Miami for a league game on Friday. The Miami
Blues are coached by Zinho, a member of the Brazilian team that won the 1994 World Cup.
Nash, meanwhile, might soon make a side trip with the
national team. He has played in 38 internationals since 1997, most recently in a friendly in Fort-de-France, Martinque in January.
Canada's first qualifier for the 2010 World Cup is June 15 in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
"Hopefully, if I'm doing well, I'll get the call," he said. "I want to stay
involved. I still think I have something to give them.
"But I've travelled around and played in a lot of places, and a few years ago, settled down in Vancouver. I am happy where I am right now. The club is growing and getting better and looking to even still go further."
ON THE SIDE: The Whitecaps have called up striker Randy Edwini-Bonsu and midfielder Antonio Rago from their residency program. Both players call
© The Edmonton Journal 2008