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.
Today, we hear from WFC2 captain Kyle Greig ahead of Saturday's home playoff match at UBC.
“It's not the decision you make, but what you do with the opportunity.”
Almost exactly a year ago, I was facing a challenging decision on whether to stay at my old club OKC Energy FC or to come to Vancouver to play for WFC2. Before deciding to come to Vancouver, that’s what my dad told me.
These words really hit home going into one of the most difficult decisions in my life.
We had just lost in the Western Conference Final. It was my second year with OKC and the second year of the club's existence.
The club meant a lot to me.
I scored the first goal for the franchise in its inaugural year, I had made connections with the fans and the community, and it was the first place my wife, Emilee, and I called “home” after getting married in May of the 2015 season.
Throughout this process, I always had something tugging on me, wanting more.
The opportunity to come play for WFC2 arose and really brought my desire for something more into a reality. It was more than just going to play for another team in the USL, it was about being a part of an established club with rich tradition and history.
WFC2 bridged the gap between the youth and Major League Soccer. As a 25-year-old (now 26), it would be different for me coming to be a part of the development side for the first team. I knew I would be an older guy on the team but I definitely didn't think I would be the oldest.
Since being here, I've embraced being the “old man” on a young team.
My teammates can tell you I make just as many jokes about my age as anyone. However, to tell the truth, I still think I'm young! I take good care of my body and feel like I am doing the right things to make my career last as long as possible.
I've heard people in the club saying how important my experience and leadership has been to the younger guys in the club this season. What hasn't been said is how being here has helped me not only as a player but also as a person; by putting me in a different leadership role that I wouldn't have had at my old club. It has challenged me to become more vocal on and off the field which, in turn, has helped me hold myself more accountable with my play and as a professional.
This year, I have seen the biggest strides in my development technically and tactically because of the club culture and sessions the WFC2 and first team staff have implemented. I know that myself and the rest of the WFC2 players and staff are proud of what we have accomplished this season.
But we aren't done yet!
We're looking forward to hosting the first-ever home playoff game for WFC2 in club history, which happens to be against my old team. It’s funny how things work out sometimes.
With no MLS game this weekend, we're hoping to fill up Thunderbird Stadium at UBC to the brim and have an electric atmosphere Saturday!
Our All. Our Honour.