Jay DeMerit speaks to media after announcing his retirement, ending an improbable and inspirational 10-year professional career.
In a letter published on whitecapsfc.com, Jay announces his retirement from the game before having the press conference that you see above:
Today, I announce the end of my career as a professional soccer player.
Eleven years ago, I can remember feeling excited about what might be next.
After years playing the game I love as an amateur, first for the Howard Hurricanes in my hometown of Green Bay, Wisconsin and then at the University of Illinois-Chicago, professional soccer scouts had passed on me. I sat at O’Hare Airport in Chicago with about $1200, a full backpack that my parents had just bought me as a present for graduating from college, and a plane ticket to London.
I think about those first years in England, sleeping in the attic of my friend Kieron’s house in London, broke, sharing bath water, and all alone trying to find a wall to kick my soccer ball against in my neighbourhood so I could work on my touch and footwork. I remember playing games in the middle of the winter, muddy, with nothing but a couple of cows and five people in the stands.
I think about the struggle to make it, the ability to always stay positive, and how eventually all of those experiences would make me so much stronger as a player, and most definitely as a person…
The letter is a really strong read and you should take about 10 minutes out of your day to read it. Thanks Jay. We appreciate you.
An Open Letter from Jay DeMerit – whitecapsfc.com