Get to know new Whitecaps FC defender and 2018 MLS SuperDraft selection Justin Fiddes, who signed his first Major League Soccer contract earlier today.
Q: What did it mean to you to get drafted by Vancouver?
A: It was a dream come true. Everyone here has been so welcoming since I’ve arrived. Kendall Waston was there to welcome me after being drafted; that was an awesome experience to meet him right there. The facilities are excellent. I’ve really enjoyed the experience.
Q: What was the draft day experience like for you?
A: The uncertainty was a little nerve-racking. You go to meetings and work your butt off the week before, then all of sudden it’s not in your hands anymore. The first hour and a half I was just sitting there not knowing what was going to happen or where I was going to end up. I heard the University of Washington get called, then Justin Fiddes. I was just ecstatic to hear my name get called by Vancouver.
Q: Did you have any idea you’d end up in Vancouver?
A: I had no idea it was going to be Vancouver. Most of the guys had some idea of who was going to pick them, but I didn’t have a clue.
Q: What’s been the defining moment in your career?
A: I guess my one moment would be deciding to attend the University of Washington. I feel like I developed so much there over the last four years and gained a real love for the game. I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for Washington. They made me the player I am.
Q: Were you always a fullback?
A: I started playing midfield or forward like most kids. Then I started slowly moving further back just based on need. I wanted to play up a year, and they happened to need a left back, so I just converted to left back.
Q: Who inspires you?
A: I would have to go with my mom. She always believed in me, always pushed me to become the player she knew I could be. She saw the potential in me that I didn’t always see, or that my coaches didn’t notice. Doing it for her and my dad is one of the things that keeps me going. They gave me so much.
Q: Were you always one of the better players growing up?
A: I wouldn’t say I was the best on my team all the time, definitely not. I’ve played with some terrific players. Even at the University of Washington, it wasn’t like I was going to play all the time. I had to fight hard for my position.
Q: You were the fastest guy at the combine. Has speed always been a strength?
A: Yeah, for as long as I can remember.
Q: Where do you think that comes from?
A: It has to be my parents! I’ve worked on my speed a lot, but I think most of it is just God-given.
Q: What’s on your bucket list?
A: I want to travel more. It’s been difficult to travel with soccer, which is alright, it’s an occupational hazard. I would love to get called up to the U.S men’s national team. I hope I get that opportunity.
Q: Jake Nerwinski came in as a rookie last year and played 20+ games. Does that make you optimistic? Does that motivate you?
A: That’s huge. I want to play right off the bat, and I’m going to work my butt off to play right away.
Q: What’s something that people might not know about you?
A: I love to read. I’m a bookworm.
Q: Who’s your favourite sports team?
A: I was a Chargers fan until they stabbed me in the back and left. I was an Arsenal fan growing up.
Q: Who was your favorite player growing up?
A: Thierry Henry, I loved watching him at Arsenal. It was cool to watch him come to the U.S and play. He was just the best.