By Charles Boehm, Potomac Soccer Wire Sr. Staff Writer
Justin Moose wasn’t eager to leave Washington.
D.C. United’s top SuperDraft pick in 2006, the diminutive midfielder had worked his way into more playing time with the senior team by the end of his second season. He’d earned the affection of United’s fans and enjoyed being close to family, friends and the Blue Ridge Mountains of his North Carolina homeland.
But his developmental salary was forcing him to scrap mightily to make ends meet, and the D.C. coaching staff’s valuation of him was uncertain at best. So when the Vancouver Whitecaps of USL’s First Division came calling with a respectable salary offer and an opportunity for meaningful playing time, Moose made the 2,800-mile move to the Pacific Northwest – and the decision has paid dividends.
“I really enjoyed my time in D.C., and when I made the switch over to Vancouver it was a drastic change in many aspects,” said Moose this week, speaking over the phone from his home in Statesville, North Carolina. “But I love Vancouver as a city and the team is a great bunch of guys. The level of soccer is pretty comparable and I’ve had a good time.”
Two of his former United teammates took on the same adventure. Backup goalkeeper Jay Nolly and Nicholas Addlery, the well-traveled Jamaican striker who notched a goal and two assists in 11 appearances for the Black-and-Red last year, were also lured north of the border and all three played key roles to help the Whitecaps win the USL-1 championship earlier this month, their second such title in three years.
Nolly built a glittering college career at the University of Indiana and logged five starts in his rookie season with Real Salt Lake. But his playing time declined over the next two years and with his confidence at a low ebb after the 2007 campaign, he was open to a new opportunity when Whitecaps officials called.
“At the end of the year, the [United] coaches were like, ‘we want you back, we want you to come back and fight for your spot,’ and then Vancouver just kind of came out of nowhere,” explained the Littleton, Co. product. “They came to me, Moose and Nick and they were like, ‘look, we’ll give you guys this and an opportunity to play right away.’ It was tough for me and my fiancée to leave, because we really liked living in D.C., but as a player I think it’s just something you’ve got to do.”
Complete story can be found at: www.potomacsoccerwire.com/news/458/4213.
Editor's Note: Stay tuned for parts in our series - Thriving in the Shadows: The Survival, and Success, of the United Soccer Leagues
About the Author
Charles Boehm has covered D.C. United and the rest of the Washington-area soccer world for more than four years. A native of Dallas, Texas, Charlie made D.C. his home following a hard-working -- but hardly spectacular -- NCAA Division III college career and subsequent Peace Corps stint in the small, soccer-crazed, island nation of Grenada, where he also coached and played in the Grenadian Premier League (such as it is). He welcomes feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.