Editors’ note: Kurt and John are firm believers that Vancouver can and should be the Canadian epicenter for growing the sport and culture of
soccer football soccer. This is a self-described healthy community. We can play outside year-round, as fields are rarely closed due to snow and/or freezing. And, most importantly, Vancouver is the place to expertly develop the sport of soccer because our city’s team, Vancouver Whitecaps FC, shares this goal and so demonstrates this vision through its Club Structure and the Whitecaps Foundation, which aims to create the fittest generation of BC Youth by 2020.
As Vancouver Whitecaps FC season ticket holders, Kurt and John are well-positioned to evaluate how the franchise showcases its commitment to “be a significant community asset” – so, following every match we will reflect on this commitment by answering two questions, which are below. Sometimes we bring friends and/or family-members to the game. And sometimes those awesome friends and/or family-members write awesome blog posts about the experience.
Yesterday’s match was a 3-1 victory for Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
HOW IS THE CLUB A SIGNIFICANT COMMUNITY ASSET?
Vancouver Whitecaps FC embraces the diversity of its community. The club fields players from 17 different countries, which is the most in the MLS (Seattle Sounders FC are second best, with players from 15 countries) – in fact, the ‘Caps might be the most culturally diverse team in professional sports in the world. The The Vancouver Sun’s Yvonne Zacharias wrote a great piece about the challenges of executing high level soccer performance when such a multicultural team is asked to communicate effectively with each other in the seven different languages that the players speak.
Diversity makes the club a significant community asset because it’s a rare thing for professional sports teams to reflect the community in which they play – sure, it’s not an exact reflection, but you get the idea. Our world is going to become more, not less, diverse in the years to come, and Vancouver Whitecaps FC is already showing how effectively diverse communities work to achieve goals.
Speaking of goals, yesterday the ‘Caps scored three goals and Houston Dynamo only scored one goal.
WHAT COULD THE CLUB DO TO BE EVEN MORE SIGNIFICANT?
With such a diverse team made up of players from so many countries and cultures I immediately thought of food – I’m also hungry, but this doesn’t make my idea any less awesome.
In order to be an even more significant community asset, Vancouver Whitecaps FC should serve – at games or via a superawesome Whitecaps Food Truck (©Copyright John Horn 2012) – dishes from players’ home countries. Not only would this idea celebrate the club’s diversity, but it would also be very, very tasty, especially if some of the city’s best culinary minds explore how to deliciously fuse some of the dishes (e.g. salt fish kimchi crepes?!) into amazingly unique Whitecaps creations.
Here are some of the potential menu items:
- Canada – Poutine!
- United States of America – Giant Burgers and Apple Pie!
- Argentina – Empanadas!
- Jamaica – Ackee and Salt Fish … maybe some Jerk Chicken, too!
- Brazil – Feijoada!
- Trinadad and Tobago – Pelau!
- St. Kitts and Nevis – Stewed Salt Fish with Dumplings!
- South Africa – Bobotie (other options included braaivleis or barbecue)!
- Scotland – Haggis!
- England – Fish and Chips or Sunday Roast or Chicken Tikka Masala (the latter is the most popular food in the UK)!
- France – Crepe!
- Switzerland – Cervelat!
- Malta – Stuffat Tal-Fenek (rabbit stew)!
- Ghana – Fufu!
- Japan – Ramen!
- South Korea – Kimchi!
- China – Peking Duck!
- New Zealand – Bacon and Egg Pie!
So there it is. My latest idea regarding how Vancouver Whitecaps FC can be an even more significant community asset. No need to thank me, Bob, John, Tom, et al – I share these gems because I’m a fan. And, for the record, I would absolutely eat a haggis empanada with some fufu poutine any day of the week…