Their stories, their emotions, their words. That, in a nutshell, is what this series on whitecapsfc.com is all about. What better way to get to know the 'Caps – your 'Caps – than to hear from them directly. No filter. No fluff. Just their words.
It was just another pre-game meal – until Coach Carl revealed the starting lineup.
There I was. Seiler. Right back.
In about three hours, I would be making my MLS debut. On the ride to the stadium, I was thinking, “There’s no need to get nervous. This is the moment I’ve been training for my whole life.”
I was still a little nervous.
People ask me, “How did you get settled into the game? Did you make a good tackle or pass?” Ha, good one. In my case, it was the exact opposite. Early in the game, I made that square ball pass to Andrew Jacobson that got intercepted and set up a dangerous counter.
It was a shocking ball.
Fortunately, Houston didn’t score and after that I kind of brushed it off. I was like, “OK, you can settle in now.” It also helped that I had Robbo, Perty, and the whole bench right next to me. They were really supportive.
Even the guys on the field. They were like, “Don’t worry about it, let’s move on.”
I was thrilled that we kept a clean sheet and got the club its first-ever point in the state of Texas. And I was thrilled to make my MLS debut.
But this night wasn’t about me. It was bigger than that.
I was thinking about my parents and the sacrifices they made. My mom, Lori, was always the one driving me to practices and games. She dedicated entire weekends to me more often than not.
She was my best friend – and still is.
Then there’s my dad, Kirk. He worked so hard to make sure we had a good life and always pushed me to be the best that I could be. It’s nice to have someone that close to you that critiques you because a lot of times people just tell you, “Hey, you’re playing really great.” Not my dad. He pushes me because he’s seen me play well and he knows what I’m capable of.
And if it wasn’t for him, I might have never had a career in soccer.
My dad was deployed in the army and based in Germany. He even had season tickets for the local team, Kaiserslautern. That’s where he really got the soccer bug, which got my older brothers into it too. I was thinking about them on Saturday as well.
My oldest brother Reid was also deployed in the army, and my other brother Kyle is working like a hound in Atlanta. They’re the reason I started playing soccer.
Last, but certainly not least, I was thinking about my old friend Mac.
Mac died when we were 12 years old. We were so young. The funeral was probably one of the saddest things I’ve ever been through. It was so hard to deal with.
Mac and I met playing U-10 club soccer in Greenville, South Carolina.
He came from a really good family and I could relate to him because he was the youngest of three brothers, just like me. The summer before he passed away, we went to a camp together and became really close. He was a shorter kid – around that time, people were going through puberty and getting bigger and Mac wasn’t – so he always played with a chip on his shoulder.
That’s something I try to emulate.
I think about Mac before every game and wear a black #19 armband in his honour. Before Saturday’s game, I was like, “Mac, I’m a little bit nervous here, help me get through this.”
There are so many people who have helped me along the way.
But Mac, this one’s for you.