End of an era as Whitecaps get set to remove defensive staples

End of an era as Whitecaps get set to remove defensive staples

As our season comes to a disappointing end I wanted to reach out with a thank you to two of our most beloved ‘Caps – David Ousted and Jordan Harvey.

The rumours had been around for months, the signing and subsequent playing of Stefan Marinovic had clearly signalled that the writing was on the wall, but Tuesday saw the official confirmation. After four and a half years with the club, with heavy hearts we have to say goodbye to a MLS club legend in Ousted.

After 144 MLS games with the team since August 2013, David has become a massive part of our team’s identity over the years. Bonding both with the city, the players, the coaching staff, and with the supporters.

It never mattered who we were playing, what the game was (league, cup, playoffs) David was always there firing up the fans, bringing an infectious level of passion and excitement that made you want to cheer even louder, push the boys to that next level, to get that next goal.

Off the pitch I had the pleasure of meeting him once. I was working at Furry Creek at the time. His twins were only a couple months old and David and his wife brought the boys so he could try out a new course. They boys had just come off a draw on the road. I want to say Columbus but I don’t remember. All I remember is how nice he was and talking to him about the result and congratulating him on the clean sheet.

David truly embraced this city, you could see what it meant to him. Whether that be through sending out personal messages to Taylin McGill and other BC Children’s Hospital kids, or creating his own fundraising page for Jeans Day to raise even more money for the kids.

But just as Whitecaps fans process losing one long serving, defensive staple of the team, they should likely brace themselves for losing another – Jordan Harvey, Goal Machine.

One of only two remaining players from our Inaugural MLS season (Russell Teibert is the other), Jordan has given us plenty of goals and tackles to cheer about over the years.

None of us are sure yet as to if we will get one more season with our beloved left back. If you listen to Jordan in his end of season chat with the media, neither does he. All the signs though are pointing to an exit for the free agent.

Like David, Jordan has quickly become a fan favourite. One of those players you love to see putting on your jersey every week. Jordan would routinely put his body on the line for the team at one end, then either score himself or try his best to set up a teammate at the other.

He is the only Whitecaps player, to my knowledge, to have a supporter group (the @Harvey_Army). The ‘goal machine’ racked up his 200th career game for the club in the second leg playoff loss in Seattle, recording 10 MLS goals and nine assists in that time.

Harvey is a player, who like Ousted, has been great in our community, helping out with events such as the Hope and Health, Jeans Day and other great events. The guy has BC Place tattooed on his arm, what else does he need to do to show his love for us?

Most importantly with these guys though is their commitment to the fans. At the end of every game, it doesn’t matter if we are home or away, win lose or draw, these two men will go give a clap and a show of thanks to the supporters. Multiple times over the past few years I’ve noticed how those two will consistently do this, while other players after a loss understandably will put their heads down and head straight to the dressing room.

The most recent example of this was in Portland on the last day of the regular season. Everyone was naturally disappointed at blowing first place in the West. Some players headed straight off the pitch but Ousted and Harvey both immediately went to applaud the large group of travelling fans, knowing how much they’d be hurting too.

Time and time again though these two legends took the time to walk over and say thank you for coming out to support the team, something that seems to be a lost sentiment in the game today around the world. This is something we should embrace and cherish.

We need great role models like his around our club, to not only bring the passion every match, but to be an example to our younger players on what giving your all to a club really means.

So, thank you to these Legends. I wish you the best of luck in whatever the future holds for you. You both will forever be ingrained in the history of this club. Vancouver will always be your home, ready to embrace you again whenever you return.

Once a Whitecap….

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Austin Sweeney
Authored by: Austin Sweeney

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