The story of Jay DeMerit's journey from Green Bay, Wisc., to the University of Illinois at Chicago, to the 12th division of English soccer, to the Premier League and then the 2010 World Cup has already been widely told.
The DeMerit story of the day, though, is of another struggle in the 33-year-old Vancouver Whitecaps FC defender's career — a ruptured Achilles that cost him six months of the 2013 MLS season — and his life off the field in his new home of British Columbia with his newlywed wife, Olympic gold medal-winning skier Ashleigh McIvor.
Following his return to action in mid-September, KICKTV thought it was a good time to take a trip up to the Pacific Northwest and catch up with Whitecaps FC's club captain for a new feature called "Follow Me," presented by adidas.
DeMerit, as you would expect given his infectious personality, covers a wide range of topics — the injury, the recovery, his wife's celebrity status in Vancouver, a proper re-generation day following 90 minutes the day before and some advice for another ruptured Achilles victim...the Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant.
He's also got a brilliant strategy for bringing an MLS franchise to his hometown of Green Bay.