In February of 1979, as a young 20-year-old lad, I arrived in Vancouver to begin an exciting journey but I never could have guessed just how exciting it would be. The years that have passed have seen me win a North American Soccer League (NASL) Soccer Bowl championship with the Whitecaps in 1979, four Canadian Soccer League championships with the Vancouver 86ers, become a Canadian citizen, and represent this great land at the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico.
My fondest memory over the 32 years that I have lived here, however, was being named most popular player and most popular athlete in a Vancouver Sun poll. I say this not to pump my own ego, though I was certainly flattered. I say this because it showed the special relationship that I have been blessed to have with the fans here in Vancouver.
Another historic moment for me was the day I had my jersey retired, as it meant that Carl Valentine and number 21 would always be connected to the Vancouver soccer community – hence the launch of my new brand, The TWO ONE. I am hoping this is going to strengthen my relationship with fans old and new.
I have always felt very fortunate to be able to play and coach soccer for a living and it’s been something that I’ve wanted to do for the rest of my life. Now, as I embark on the next chapter in my role as Whitecaps FC club ambassador, I could not be happier.
So what can you expect as you join me in The TWO ONE?
Updates on everything about the ’Caps.
Regular columns on whitecapsfc.com featuring opinions on hot topics in soccer.
Fun videos (with my partner in crime, videographer extraordinaire Zac Ratcliffe), including behind-the-scenes footage.
And of course – most importantly – interaction and feedback from fans. Because in the end, nothing is more important than you the fans.
Soccer has been part of my life since I can remember, and I am obviously biased when I say that this is the best sport in the world. It’s awfully hard to argue that point though when you see the devotion and passionate opinions of the fans.
My hope is that The TWO ONE will bring out that passion and we can share our opinions of the game we have come to love. We will not agree on everything we talk about, and I am OK with that. After all, I will probably always be right. Well, that last part may be a stretch, but I look forward to debating different topics in soccer and hearing your views on the most popular sport in the world, especially about our beloved Whitecaps FC.
So without further ado, let’s kick off The TWO ONE!