It was the moment he had been waiting for his whole life.
On October 23, 2016 at BC Place, Brett Levis made his Major League Soccer debut in Vancouver Whitecaps FC’s regular season finale against Portland Timbers – the culmination of an improbable journey from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
Then, the unthinkable happened.
Just a few minutes after entering the match as a late second-half sub, Levis went to ground on a tackle from Alvas Powell and suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
“In the span of 10 minutes, I probably had the highest point in my career, which was making my MLS debut, to probably the lowest point in my career, to get such a long term injury,” Levis told whitecapsfc.com. “To be honest I was very shook. I just broke down.”
Eight and a half months later, Levis made his return to the pitch on Sunday as a second-half sub for Whitecaps 2 in their United Soccer League match against Seattle Sounders FC 2. It’s been a long process that included many ups and many downs, but he’s finally come out on the other side.
And, according to the club’s medical staff, he’s come out better than ever before.
“This is the fastest and this is the most fit we’ve ever seen him,” said Whitecaps FC assistant athletic trainer Lageishon Mohanadas.
After everything he’s been through, including the death of his mom when he was only 15 years old, Levis certainly wasn’t going to let a torn ACL get in his way.
“That was one of the very first things that ran through my head,” Levis said. “I know that she’s watching over me and I know that she saw what happened. She of all people would tell me to keep my head up and keep going. You made it this far. Injuries are part of the sport. Why let that ruin everything you’ve just done over the past 15-20 years of your life?”
Stay tuned to whitecapsfc.com for Beating the odds: A Saskatoon soccer story, a mini documentary on Brett Levis’ improbable journey to Major League Soccer and road to recovery over the last eight-and-a-half months.