Posts Tagged ‘Jake Nerwinski MLS’

2015.10.31 Caps Travel To Portland Lo_res_034_0

Vancouver Whitecaps FC’s Russell Teibert. Photo: Whitecaps FC

VANCOUVER, B.C. – Whitecaps FC are back on the road, as the team gets set for a pair of matches away from B.C. Place. Vancouver will take on Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, May 18, and then it’s a battle against the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday, May 22.

Vancouver is coming off a 1-0 loss to Atlanta United FC on Wednesday night at B.C. Place. At the minute, Whitecaps FC sit 8th in the western conference with a record of 3-6-3, 12-points. Sporting Kansas City remain in 11th position with a 10-points, from a 2-4-4 record. The home side will be looking to snap an eight-match winless streak.

Whitecaps FC are no strangers to long distance travel. Playing on the west coast often means long road trips across the continent. Vancouver has already had three trips into the central and eastern time zones, traveling to Houston, Chicago, and Orlando. That often requires flying commercial with a layover before reaching the final designation.

Over the years, players have developed a flying routine. Some players prefer the window seat, over the aisle, and almost no player wants to be stuck in the dreaded middle seat.

“I love the aisle, so I can get up and go to the bathroom when I feel like it.” Fredy Montero explained.

“I’m an aisle guy,” Jake Nerwinski said. “I like to be able to get out. I like to lean my legs out into the aisle a little bit.”

“If it’s a long trip, I like the aisle,” Russell Teibert revealed. “If it’s quick trip, which we rarely have here in Vancouver, I like the window.”

“My favourite situation is a nice aisle seat, and I sleep as much as possible,” Andy Rose revealed. “Our last plane trip, we were on United, and we had a couple of Premier League games on, which was great. That’s probably the ideal situation. A good sleep, good book, and time to relax.”

“I’m always window seat,” Doneil Henry admitted. “I don’t like to be bothered, I don’t like to be bumped by carts when I’m in the aisle seat. Put me by the window, and I just sleep.”

“Middle, love the middle,” Scott Sutter joked. “I love being crammed in. No, no. Aisle all day, I prefer the aisle, I like to stretch my legs a little bit.”

There are a variety of choices to pass the time away on a long flights. You can try and get some kip, read a book, play cards, listen to music, watch a movie, or talk to your seat mate. Athletes usually like to rest up, relax, and watch a movie.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC players are no different.

“Watch movies, that I can’t watch at home with my kids,” Felipe told reporters at Vancouver International Airport. “I like to be quiet, watch movies, and enjoy myself. Anything on iTunes, and Netflix.”

“Mostly watch films, and see what new films are out,” Sutter said. “I’ve got my iPad, and a good book at the moment.”

“Soccer books, at the moment I’m reading a great book about Barcelona,” Rose explained. “That’s incredibly interesting. I read a lot about different coaches, managers, player autobiographies, all those sorts of things.”

“I try to sleep,” Nerwinski added. “I try to rest as much as I can. When I get a little stiff, I usually do a little walking down the aisle, until a flight attendant will yell at me to sit down. I watch Netflix. Right now I’m watching Designated Survivor, it’s pretty good.”

“Sleep, I like to sleep,” Henry said. “I don’t do anything other than sleep. Sometimes I download a couple of Netflix. I’ve been watching Imposters. I’m on the second season.”

“I don’t sleep, that’s for sure,” Montero revealed. “I get nervous when the plane is shaking, for those two seconds, five seconds. I’m praying about it, because I honestly don’t like it. Most of the time, I watch movies, read books, and talk to my teammates.”

There’s always one individual who is persistent in chatting up his teammates while they’re doing their own thing. If there’s a lengthy travel day ahead for Whitecaps FC, there’s one player that teammates would prefer they don’t sit beside.

“Ali (Adnan), Ali’s annoying.” Henry said.

“Normally I sleep, but Ali (Adnan) has been bothering me on the flights,” Teibert explained. “He likes to take pictures of me. I’ve kind of got to sleep with one eye open, now.”

“Joaquin (Ardaiz).” Nerwinski revealed. “I’ve sat next to him two or three times. He loves the middle (seat), which is a very odd thing. He likes to talk to everybody. If you sit next to him, you’re not going to get much sleep.”

“Yeah, Fredy Montero. He just does not shut-up on the flights,” Sutter laughed. “It’s crazy, he just wants to speak about everything. No, no, he’s great. If I can choose anyone, it would be next to Fredy.”

“Fortunately, we’re all sort of spread out on the plane,” Rose revealed. “I think we do a great job of trying to get away from the middle seats. Usually you’re sat by yourself. A few guys like to play cards together, and what not. For the most part, so far, I haven’t been hassled.”

Whitecaps FC will look to re-group in the friendly skies as they prepare for a week on the road. Vancouver will stay and train in Kansas City following Saturday’s match at Children’s Mercy Park. Vancouver will fly home on Thursday, May 23.



VANCOUVER, B.C – The life of a professional football player is often spent in airports traveling to and from matches in cramped conditions. While NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB teams on the road are whisked from their comfortable charter seats to hotels. MLS players are often left squished in economy and wondering if they’ll make it to their destination city at all.

It’s not uncommon for MLS teams to experience long layovers, delays, and cancelled flights. It’s all a part of travelling across a continent as big as North America. MLS players say that not having charters can have a negative affect on the overall health, rest, and recovery. Arrival in a new city can often occur in the wee hours of the morning.

Players are jet-legged, their body clocks aren’t able to adjust, they are not in the best position to go out and succeed on the pitch on matchday. The probability of making mistakes, injuries, and overall fatigue, rises when players are jet-lagged.

MLS goalkeeper, Zach MacMath, is in his first season with Whitecaps FC. The long distances that Vancouver frequently has to travel has come as an unpleasant shock to him.

“This is the first year, I’ve dealt with so many connecting flights out of Vancouver,” MacMath said. “I think it’s very important for the league to grow, and up the standard of play. It’s not something that I think is going to happen quickly. It’ll take time, and obviously a lot of money to make happen.” 

“I think if we could get to eight next year, and continue to build from there. You get four, but that’s a discretionary for each team. Not every team uses all four flights each year.”

MLS players want more charters, and they want them included in the next CBA negotiations. Vancouver Whitecap FC recently completed a three match stretch in the span if nine days. Vancouver played away to Chicago on April 12, home to LAFC on April 17, and across the continent to Orlando, Florida for a match on April 20.

The Philadelphia Union played away to the LA Galaxy on April 13, flew home and played Montreal, on April 20, and then flew out to Vancouver to play Whitecaps FC on April 27.

Neither Vancouver, or Philadelphia took a charter flight.

Philadelphia Union captain, Alejandro Bedoya, spoke to Har Journalist post-match in Vancouver on Saturday.

“Oh my gosh, the obvious answer is charter flights,” Bedoya said. “You look at the way we got here (Vancouver). We flew out of Philly, with a connecting flight in Chicago. We had to wait, sitting on a United airplane. I think they’ve got to have the smallest leg room in economy. It’s just so tight. We land at around eleven at night. We get to the hotel at midnight, which is three in the morning, Philly time, and eat dinner. It’s just ridiculous. It’s absurd.”

Each MLS team is permitted four charter flights each season. If Philadelphia had traveled to and from Vancouver on a charter. That would have counted as two seperate charter flights.

“That’s the obvious answer, charter flights,” Bedoya reiterated. “They need to put their money, where their mouth is. I’ll never forget about the article Robert Kraft had in Sports Illustrated about why he bought the (New England) Patriots a second plane. He’s talking about player safety, health, recovery. Here in MLS, we’re not there yet. We better be there, the CBA is up, and that’s going to be a strong talking point.”

Whitecaps FC’s, Russell Teibert, has spent his entire MLS career playing on the west coast in Vancouver. He has been on many lengthy road trips. He is adamant that more charter flights need to included in the next CBA negations.

The current CBA expires on January 31, 2020.

“The CBA is coming up,” Teibert explained. “That’s going to be something our players union is going to have to discuss. That’s something we need to discuss as a union going forward. All the teams need to be on the same page with that.”

“That’s something that I’m sure is going to be a focal point for our next CBA. I don’t think it’s something that we can address right now, because we’re stuck with the old CBA.”

“At the end of the day, it’s about getting what’s fair for the players, owners, teams, and organizations.”

The biggest reason why MLS doesn’t use more charter flights, is down to cost. It has been estimated that it would cost $20 million per year for the league, and roughly $1 million per team. The cost of flying an entire team on a charter flight, plus the price of fuel can quickly add up. Each flight could cost a team upwards of $150,000 per charter.

“The way we need to figure it out, is if we get better flights,” Whitecaps FC’s, Jake Nerwinski said. “We’re working with the league right now, to work on more charter flights.”

“It would make a huge difference. Going on two commercial flights is very difficult for guys, to be sitting in small leg room. It’s something that you have to get use to throughout the year.”

Whitecaps FC MLSPA union representative, Zac MacMath, wants more charter flights, and a much smoother process.

“It just makes the whole process a lot easier,” MacMath explained. “More guys in this league are use to the difficulties of travel, but it just makes life easier. It gets more recovery time, and more mobility to be more prepared for games.”

If cost is a concern, there is always the idea of sharing a charter. MLS teams don’t require a charter each time they travel. Cascadia clubs, Vancouver, Seattle, and Portland could share a charter. You could also have teams like the LA Galaxy, LAFC, and San Jose Earthquakes share a charter. The same could be said for teams in the midwest, south, and east coast.

“That could be a solution definitely,” Bedoya agreed. “I’m not calling for every flight to be a charter. There are flights on the east coast, or west coast that are just over an hour or two flight. You don’t need to fly a charter then. I think cross country, especially with a midweek game. There should be no doubt about it. I don’t care what anybody says.”

“Like you said, if you split them like that. Cascadia teams, and maybe the teams on the east coast. The New York teams for example. That could be an option. If you look at NBA teams they go on a west coast trip. I would have preferred that. Maybe our wives would be upset with us, but trust me. It would have been a lot better for us to play the game in LA. Stay in LA, and then have the scheduling in Vancouver the following weekend. That would have been a better solution.”

If revenues, and MLS expansion fees are as high as $200 million. There is no reason why there shouldn’t be more money for charter flights. A potential thirty-team league should not have tired players criss-crossing all over North America on commercial flights. It hurts the end product on the pitch. This is a league wide issue that has no legroom left.

NOTES: The MLSPA could not be reached for comment. MLS did not provide comment at the time of publication.

Marc Dos Santos, Doneil Henry

VANCOUVER, B.C – The Zlatan show has come and gone, and it’s now time for the Bastian show as Vancouver Whitecaps FC travel to the Windy City to take on Bastian Schweinsteiger, and Chicago Fire on Friday night at SeatGeek Stadium.

Winless Whitecaps FC, are facing a familiar story as they have yet to record a victory this season.

A 0-4-1 (1-pont) start to the season has fans, media, and curious observers circling.

“I feel like we’re always talking about the same thing.” Coach Marc Dos Santos told reporters on Thursday. “

“How do you improve…” Dos Santos asked the assembled media.

“You have to finish the chances that you have,” Dos Santos explained. “That could normally help you change the dynamic of a game. The big clear chances that we have, we have to finish them, and then see how the game plays out from there.”

Whitecaps FC haven’t scored in two matches, and the team as a whole has scored one goal from open play this season. With goals at a premium, the emphasis on playing solid defence, and keeping a clean sheet is higher than ever.

Vancouver enters a stretch where they will play three matches, in nine days, in three cities. Chicago, LAFC, and Orlando all present challenges of their own. Although it’s still relatively early, there must be an urgency to pickup points.

“Yes, every game we want points,” Goalkeeper, Maxime Crepeau told Har Journalist. “The urgency is always there before it’s too late, so totally.”

The 24-year-old, Crepeau has started all five Whitecaps FC matches this season. He recorded his first career MLS clean sheet in a nil-nil draw vs Seattle Sounders FC on March 30. In his first full season as a no.1 MLS keeper, can Crepeau handle an increased work load during a crucial trio of fixtures?

“It’s about the staff making decisions,” Crepeau said. “But I feel like I can play every game, anytime, no problem.”

At the other end of the pitch, Vancouver will face goalkeeper David Ousted, who made his mark during five seasons with Whitecaps FC. The Danish shot-stopper posted a 55-49-39 record during his time on the west coast.

During the 2017 season, Ousted took a young New Jersey native under his wing.

“Dave’s a great guy,” Jake Nerwinski explained. “I played with him my first year, he helped me a lot. He’s a veteran that kind of took me under his wing, and gave me some good advice. I think we’re worried about our tactics and being able to execute them against an entire Chicago team.”

In terms of tactics Whitecaps FC need to score early, dictate the play, and make sure they take their chances. The 1-2-2 (5-points) Fire haven’t had a smooth start to the season, but they have several stars that can change a match.

Schweinsteiger isn’t the only face Whitecaps FC should be worried about. Nemanja Nikolić, Aleksandar Katai, and their newest acquisition, Nicolás Gaitán, all have the ability to turn up and take control of a match.

“Yeah, they have a good team,” Crepeau agreed. “We’ve seen them. They picked up a point in Toronto last week. They’re a team with a dangerous body in front. (C.J) Sapong is a target up front, and Bastian is of a great soccer mind. They have a good team of course. This league is difficult when we go on the road. Now it’s all about being together, and getting a result.”

How do Whitecaps FC earn a result, and get the better of Schweinsteiger?

“Bastian is a world-class player, he’s had a great career,” Nerwinski said. “We know that he’s great at playing out of the back. He’s very calm on the ball. We just need to be able to exploit his weaknesses. He’s not as fast as he was anymore. We need to make sure we can get balls in behind, make him run, and get him tired.”

If you can’t win on the wings, the old adage of run, and gun, and getting in behind the oppositions back-line is a time-tested tactic. Whitecaps FC have the pace, but it remains to be seen if Bastian will be bothered by an aggressive over-the-top transition approach.

“We know at this point, it’s important to get a tie or a win,” Nerwinski revealed. “We’re getting to that point where we need to start getting results. Just for morale, building confidence, and for going on with the season. We’re looking at, at least getting a point against Chicago.”

Bridgeview, Illinois could be the good luck charm Whitecaps FC have been waiting for. Chicago has never been solid at home. The time is perfect for Vancouver to bounce back and earn Marc Dos Santos his first MLS win as a head coach.



VANCOUVER, B.C – Today is April Fool’s Day, and for one special day, pranksters thrive, and trickery is abound. Hijinks is in the air, not everything you read and hear is truthful.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC are no strangers to bonding, and pulling off elaborate pranks. Whenever you get a young group of athletes together, there’s sure to be a few funny characters around who are up to no good.

Who is the Whitecaps FC player you should be most mindful of on April Fool’s Day?

“There’s a few guys, I think Yordy (Reyna) is a big prankster,” Jake Nerwinski told Har Journalist. “He likes to always mess with guys. Joaquin (Ardaiz), I’m starting to learn that he’s a bit of a prankster as well, and myself a little bit.”

“Yeah, Yordy likes to do a few jokes,” Felipe agreed. “There is a couple guys that like to joke, but we always try to respect the way we joke.” 

There was a high level of shenanigans last year when Whitecaps FC goalkeeper, Stefan Marinovic was the victim of a fantastic prank. Nerwinski teamed up with TSN Radio host, Corey Basso, for an amusing, and agitating sit down interview with the Australian (New Zealand) international.

“I just try to pull some jokes on my friends,” Nerwinski explained. “Did you see last year with Stefan (Marinovic) ? – We pulled a little joke with Corey Basso. We asked him some tough questions, and some that I knew he wasn’t going to like, and get mad at. It went perfectly. Right as planned, he got mad. It was good, really funny.”

Spoken like a true prankster extraordinaire, Nerwinski wouldn’t reveal his April Fools’ plans for this year.

“I can’t let you know that,” Nerwinski smiled. “No. Maybe, I don’t know. You’ll just have to wait and see.

It seems practical jokes, and tomfoolery go hand-in-hand with the 24-year-old, Nerwinski. His days as a jokster can be traced all the way back to his university time at UConn.

“We use to do this one in college, where we would fill up a garbage can of water. You lean it against the door, and once you open the door it all falls in. We use to do that a few times to some of the guys in the dorms. We’d get into a little bit of trouble, but it was fun.”

While being soaked with a falling bucket of water is an April Fools’ classic. There’s a certain amount of higher stakes at the pro level. The more planning, and teammates involved, the bigger the prank. Nerwinski will want to make sure to keep a close eye on his car.

“We did many back in Europe,” Felipe said. “Once we took all the wheels from the guys car and we left it in the parking lot, without the wheels. He thought someone robbed him. Another time, we were very far from the training facility, and we parked his car downtown, and we left all the tickets for him to go get. It won’t happen here, but it was something.”

Nerwinski, and Reyna appear to be the leaders among Whitecaps FC pranksters, Felipe should not be underestimated. The veteran does his talking on the pitch, and he could very well be set to do some pranking off the pitch.

“This year, nothing yet,” Felipe revealed. “We’ve joked with Lucas (Venuto) a couple of times, but only between Brazilians.”

Whitecaps FC will look to shake off any practical jokes effects as they host the LA Galaxy at B.C. Place on Friday, April 5.

VANCOUVER, B.C – Please visit Red Nation Online for my feature on Vancouver Whitecaps FC full-back, Jake Nerwinski.



VANCOUVER, B.C – Please visit Red Nation Online for my feature on Vancouver Whitecaps FC rookie, Jake Nerwinski.