VANCOUVER, BC – Perhaps Jordan Harvey was a poacher in a past soccer playing life.
The starting left fullback for Vancouver Whitecaps FC displayed an eye for goal last season, notching a career-high four goals, and on Saturday, he opened the scoring for his club in a 2-1 home win over Houston Dynamo.
On the play, Harvey got on the end of an Andy O'Brien headed ball across the six-yard box to poke past Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall.
“I just got a toe on it,” Harvey told reporters following Saturday's match at BC Place. “I was fortunate really, and that's been kind of last year as well. Just getting in good spots, an opportunity presents itself, and just getting on the end of it.”
Since arriving in Vancouver during the 2011 season, Harvey has always shown an inclination to get forward and join the attack, but it was last year when he made more of an offensive contribution, at one point scoring three goals within a four-match spell in June.
The 30-year-old carried that form into preseason as well, notching a brace against Jamaican side Portmore United in a 5-1 win at the Rose City Invitational tournament in Portland this February.
But why the increased output for a player who prior to last season had scored just twice in 131 MLS appearances? Well, Harvey credits head coach Carl Robinson's input, even as an assistant last season.
“Robbo, last year, kind of pushed for me to go into the box on set pieces and stuff, and then continued to do it this year,” Harvey said. “He knows I can get into good spots and cause havoc, and that's just what I do. I'm not the biggest guy, but I run around and work hard.”
His performance this weekend earned him a spot in the MLS Team of the Week, and there's even a Twitter account which sprung up recently called “Harvey Army” which professes to be representative of a supporters group for the “Goal Machine, Fashion Icon, Singer and sometime Defender.”
“It's like a group of 10,” Harvey said with a laugh when asked about his “supporters group.” “So, I don't know if you can call that a group, but it's a few guys getting together and having a fun laugh.”
Martin MacMahon covers Vancouver Whitecaps FC for MLSsoccer.com.
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