With the inaugural Whitecaps FC Alumni Match set for this Saturday, May 9 at BC Place, whitecapsfc.com will feature one member of the alumni who will be in attendance every day this week leading up to the match. Today, we chat with former USL standout goalkeeper Jay Nolly - a late addition to the alumni roster.
Tickets to the alumni match are still available (call 604.669.9283 ext. 2 to purchase).
1. What excites you the most about the upcoming alumni match?
My wife, Alicia, and I are looking forward to being back in the midst of the Whitecaps atmosphere – being in the stadium with all of the fans, being able to be there during an MLS game, being part of the organization and experiencing the whole Whitecaps experience.
I’m excited to see other players and their families and put a Whitecaps jersey on. It’s an amazing city and an amazing organization. The fans are great. It has everything you want from a professional soccer background and lifestyle.
Of the supporter groups, I was probably closest with the Southsiders. I have still kept in touch with a few of them. They’re an amazing group. Being outside of the game now, I understand what it takes for fans to show their commitment and to be part of the team – to go to all of the games, all of the nightly activities and events. It takes a lot of dedication from the fans. All they really ask for is for the players to give their all.
2. How do you think the alumni will fare against WFC2?
We will show our experience but we’ll be exposed by their youth and fitness. You'll definitely see passion and heart from the alumni because we all love the game and organization.
I think there’s enough experienced guys out there that are going to show that sometimes you don’t have to have crazy runs and go wild. It’s about being smart and being in the right position. I think you’ll see a lot of veterans play like that.
We’ll have to stay with these kids who have been through preseason, training camps and a handful of professional games. The alumni are probably not in athletic 90-minute game shape.
It will be fun. It’s more of getting people together for a good cause and connecting the past with the present. For the alumni, the organization means a lot to them for what they did. It will be fun to play with these young guys because they’re the future.
3. Which current Whitecaps FC player do you wish you could have played with?
Kendall Waston - what goalkeeper wouldn’t want him on his back line? Watching the games and seeing the passion that guy has. He’s a great guy and when you look at him, he kind of reminds me of Jay DeMerit. Every time he goes out there, he’s going to try to do everything he can to win and help his team. Being a goalkeeper in the back, I can relate right away with the back line. He’s such a presence.
4. What do you miss most about your time with Whitecaps FC?
It’s the whole Whitecaps experience. The fans, organization and the city are what make the Whitecaps such a special place. It’s the fans and how well the organization treated me and my family. There was always someone in the organization helping my wife out for something we needed. There was always an answer. That’s what made the experience so much better.
Also, we miss the city. We literally call Vancouver our second home. We have some of our closest life-long friends living there. Sometimes, they’d fly to Salt Lake or we’d fly to Vancouver. It’s the playing lifestyle, the city lifestyle and the organization lifestyle.
5. What was your favorite moment with Whitecaps FC?
A match that I’ll always remember that might get pushed into the background as years go by would be the Canadian Championship game we had on Canada Day in Toronto when we weren’t in MLS and they were. It was in 2008, the first year of the Canadian Championship.
It was a sunny day and nobody really gave us a shot. We went in there and got a huge 1-0 victory. Martin Nash scored the game-winner on a PK. Just the feeling going home and flying back, everything around it and the implications, it set how the tournament was going to be. It just really stuck with me for a long time.
The inaugural Whitecaps FC Alumni Match will take place on Saturday, May 9 from 1:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. PT at BC Place (prior to the evening's MLS match vs. Philadelphia Union).
Season Tickets Members and those who have already purchased a ticket for the MLS match have received an email with instructions on how to purchase their tickets for the alumni match. All others who are interested in attending the alumni match can purchase by calling the ‘Caps office at 604.669.9283 ext. 2.
A limited number of tickets will also be available for purchase at the tent located at BC Place outside of Gate A. Valid ticket for the afternoon’s MLS match must be presented. Fans are encouraged to purchase their tickets in advance to avoid disappointment.
Tickets for the alumni match are $5 with all proceeds being donated to the ‘Caps community partner, BC Children’s Hospital Foundation.