First baby

Everyone remembers their first

 

This coming Sunday, Whitecaps FC 2 (WFC2) play their first ever home match as they take on Toronto FC II at Thunderbird Stadium. Tickets remain available HERE.

In honour of the occasion, we asked fans to submit their first soccer stories, whether with Whitecaps FC or elsewhere. 

We had an overwhelming response, and below are a few excerpts.

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My story starts in the 70s. My dad took me to games at the old Empire Stadium. I would stand in the parking lot and wait to get the players to sign my autograph book. You could do that! We had the 45 WHITE IS THE COLOUR. We would travel to the old Kingdome and watch Alan Hinton’s Sounders. I remember listening on a car radio when the ‘Caps beat the Cosmos and Jim McKay calling Vancouver a VILLAGE, and the outrage we felt. Now before 50; have two sons 12 and 10. I take them to BC Place. Thanks to my dad and the ‘Caps of long ago and new…. I can share with my boys and see the excitement in their eyes.

My one memory is the Whitecap Experience all wrapped up.

The young girl and now the mom…. Thank you

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I went to a Whitecaps soccer clinic, at Caledonia Park in Nanaimo, back in the day.  I was maybe nine or 10, guessing it was approximately 1980.... It was pretty cool! 

And yes, the inaugural MLS game in 2011 was very special.  Took my son and dad.  It was a wonderful day and lasting memory.  My dad later died and I often think fondly of this special day we all shared together.

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I was six years old and in my report card from my school I received a ticket to attend my first Whitecaps soccer match in 1982 at Empire Stadium. Nothing could be more perfect for a kid, sitting out in the stands under the open sky and watching all the players run out to the field.  Today it's just as great under the open dome at BC Place. :)

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One of my early experiences with the Whitecaps soccer team was back when they were known as the Vancouver 86ers.  At the end of the warm-up, the players would throw soccer balls out to the fans in the crowd and I managed to catch one.  I later had that ball autographed by the (now) late Dominic Mobilio.  I was so excited to catch the ball AND get an autograph!

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My first time was as recent as [this month] against LA Galaxy; I watched us beat them 2-0, even though their side had the likes of Robbie Keane, and Omar Gonzalez. The atmosphere was captivating, the enthusiasm was extraordinary. The fans were terrific; I never expected to fall in love that quick, and it was the reason I bought my first jersey. It was a beautiful experience that I would repeat weekly till I die. 

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I am from Salt Spring Island in the Gulf Island where soccer is a passion for players and fans alike for decades even before the Whitecaps.

My first experience in watching the Whitecaps was at Empire Stadium.  The stadium was full and the excitement on the bus as well as the game was incredible.  Soon after I watched their first NASL championship at the Vesuvius Inn with dozens of fans. 

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My story is of my first time soccer was back in my home country Brazil when my father took me out on the field and taught me how to properly kick the ball. I was about three years old, he used to make empty bottles of soda full of sand so they could be the wall so I could score goals under a free kick. It was a nice experience!

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My sister had babysat for Martin Rennie and he gave her four tickets. I went with my wife, my sister and her friend to watch the game where Hassli volleyed a goal top corner from a cross-park pass. I was a soccer rookie and didn't even know what an offside was at the time. Now I do my best never to miss a game!

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A group of us girls would bus in to Empire Stadium to watch them play (early 1980's) - Bobby, Carl, Tino...sigh. I even had a Bobby Lenarduzzi poster in my room ;-)

Now it's about firsts with my kids.  Watching them play. Taking them to see the Whitecaps play & listening to my seven year old sing along with the crowd.

Soccer is a family affair. Then & now.

Proud to be a 'Caps fan

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In 1974 my father, a huge soccer fan himself and original season ticket holder for the first year Whitecaps soccer club, took me on his lap to many a game at old Empire Stadium.  While I don’t remember the exact game that christened my love affair with the game and our home club 40 years ago, I do remember my later experiences at Empire very well, and my biggest memory of all was sitting somewhere on top of the law courts and waving a homemade flag for the championship parade in 1979.

Likewise, my son has no memories of his first game in 2011, but I sure do.  What a day! Glorious sun streamed down after a worrisome weather forecast, and our hated rivals in town for the season opener to this new era.  My one year-old son on my lap, and wife beside me with our soon to be born daughter as well.  A day never to be forgotten was provided by passionate players and fans who renewed their love affair with our Whitecaps.

My son remembers most games he has been to now at the new BC Place, and even though we can’t get to as many as we would like, we watch them all somehow, many with Grandpa. 

We are massive Whitecaps fans and supporters. Go ‘Caps!

And welcome Whitecaps FC 2!  We are really looking forward to it.

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I moved to Vancouver from a small Northern Ontario town in 2006. In 2013 my daughter’s friend from school’s parents had us all over for supper. Well little did I know they were billets for the Residency team. I was asked if I would like to attend one of the games with them as they had an open ticket. Growing up playing soccer I said yes obviously not ever seeing a professional soccer game.

Well let me just tell you I was immediately hooked walking into the lower bowl of B.C Place and seeing the Southsiders already jumping before the game had started. Once Camilo scored and I heard all the excitement I knew this is something I wanted to be part of.

Following year other friends of ours who are also billet families for the Whitecaps had Sam Adekugbe and Marco Bustos living with them. I got to meet these gifted kids and became huge supporters of them and everything Whitecaps. I go to the Residency games up at SFU and to all the whitecaps games since.

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How could I forget the very first time I went to a game?

I was 12 and was living in France, in Paris suburbs. 

On this Wednesday late afternoon, on August 26, 1992, my best friend's dad came to ring at my door and just told me: 

"Hurry up, you have to come with us. Your parents are aware about this".

Once in the car, I asked my friend what happened, and he told me that he didn’t know either. We drove for about half an hour and finally parked in Paris, around "Porte d'Auteuil".

And suddenly, after a short five minute walk we found ourselves in front of this:

Le Parc des Princes.

A mythical 50,000 seats soccer stadium, looking like an alien spaceship who landed in the heart of the city.

"Tonight is France/Brazil,” told my friend's dad. "I managed to have tickets and wanted to surprise you.”

And what a surprise! I was literally breathless.

And once inside I couldn’t take my eyes off the stands. We were seated behind the nets, in the very controversial (at the time) KOP OF BOULOGNE, famous for being the meeting place of Parisians Hooligans when the PSG played.

But on that day, no hooligans, no violence. Just families, kids, teenagers, old people, white people, black people, Asian people... And much fun!

How was the game? I barely remember of it, as I was watching the stands, the unique architecture of the stadium much more than the pitch.

On that day I felt in love for the first time. And it was not from a girl. But a stadium. MY stadium. Le Parc des Princes.

Two years later, I convinced my parents to let me go to some PSG games during the seasons. And the next year, I had the best birthday gift I ever had : A season ticket... The first one of a long 15 years discontinued series.

I've seen so much great players, teams during those years... The team made five consecutive european semi-finals, two finals, and won the european cup in 1996. I was there, in Brussels on this holy day, as I've been everywhere in Europe to support my team: in Milan, Barcelona, Madrid, Liverpool, London, Glasgow, Istanbul, Athens...

I made friends in this stadium.

I met my wife in this stadium.

In 2009 I started a new life in Vancouver, but soccer passion was so high I couldn’t resist to look at the local scene. Whitecaps FC...

A few games in Burnaby, and then MLS.

I was at Empire Field for the first game vs Toronto, to see my French mate Eric Hassli make history.

I was there at BC Place for the first game vs Timbers. We may have lost this one, but I found myself a new home on that day.

All of this, thanks to this hot summer day when I was 12.

All of this thanks to this France-Brazil game.

All of this thanks to this stadium.

I'll never forget my first first time.

Come and see the next generation of Whitecaps FC stars as USL arrives in Vancouver. With Season Tickets available for as low as $118, WFC2 matches will be a unique and affordable experience for fans, families, students, and supporters. Flex packs are also available to fit your schedule - get seven tickets to use any way you want, to any matches you want. For more information on all WFC2 ticket options, call 604-484-7862 or e-mail wfc2@whitecapsfc.com.