VANCOUVER, BC – Russell Teibert was feeling a bit older than usual this week as Vancouver Whitecaps FC kicked off their 2019 preseason training camp.
And he can thank Simon Colyn for that.
The 16-year-old Whitecaps FC Academy product, who hails from Langley, British Columbia, made the longtime ‘Caps midfielder aware of an old photo in which a young Colyn was getting Teibert’s autograph at a Whitecaps FC open practice.
Colyn believes the photo was taken in the summer of 2012, Vancouver’s second season in Major League Soccer, which would have made him 10 years old at the time and Teibert 19.
Oh, how time flies.
“He didn’t believe it was me and him at first,” said Colyn, who still has the ball that was autographed by the team on that day. “He’s like, ‘No that’s not you.’ It was pretty funny.”
Teibert, now 26, said he doesn’t remember taking the specific photo with Colyn, but he does recall seeing him at various Whitecaps FC camps and clinics.
“He had a chubby face, but he was a good little player,” said Teibert, a Niagara Falls, Ontario native who also came through the Whitecaps FC Academy.
Although they simply shared a laugh about the photo in the locker room, Colyn and Teibert agreed that these types of stories illustrate the impact someone in their shoes can make on kids’ lives.
“Being a young player and seeing them up close was obviously a pretty cool experience for me as a kid,” Colyn said. “It’s an inspiration when you get to meet the people you look up to.”
“I don’t know if we influenced him,” Teibert said. “Maybe going to the open practice made him want to dream even more to be a professional soccer player. It’s just cool for me to see a kid from a totally different time, not even a '90s kid but a kid from the 2000s, who shared the same dream, the same goal, and now we share the same locker room.”