The first and only season of USSF Division 2 soccer for Vancouver Whitecaps FC promises to be a very interesting one. It’s a bit of a “write-off” year as the team plays just one season before jumping ship and heading off to Major League Soccer in 2011. But with that in mind, the Whitecaps have brought in a number of players to challenge for positions as some early auditioning takes place for any available roster spots for the 2011 MLS squad.
One player who’s looking to be there one year from now is goalkeeper Jay Nolly. Since joining the club in 2008, the 28 year-old has certainly held the fort for Vancouver, leading them to back-to-back USL -1 Championship Finals appearances, winning it all in 2008.
As the 2010 USSF Division 2 season opens for the ‘Caps, and with so many new players added to the roster, Nolly knows that the competition for spots within the team can potentially play a negative role as the focus could shift from competing against the opposition to competing against one another for playing time.
While Nolly’s spot appears to be safe (he played all 3600 minutes of the club’s 40 USL-1 and Nutrilite Canadian Championship matches last year and has played every single minute through eight matches in 2010), his teammates will face a strong challenge from the new talent. But Nolly believes all of this won’t be much of an issue because of the team’s relationship with SportMedBC’s and Whitecaps FC team psychologist Dr. David Cox.
Listen: Nolly – on David Cox
“I think something that the Whitecaps have done very well is they’ve brought Dave Cox in (team psychologist) and he’s been talking about situations like that… if you’re that one guy that lets it affect you it could affect the whole team and Teitur’s (Thordarsson – Vancouver Whitecaps FC Head Coach) not going to stand for that, so they’ve kind of put it our heads that if you’re a guy that starts causing problems, you’re not going to be on this team.
So I think guys have just put their heads down and have worked hard and they’re just trying to crack the starting lineup.”
Along with his duties as team psychologist, Dr. Cox is a Clinical Psychologist and an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Simon Fraser University. He is currently the Director of Clinical Training for the Clinical Psychology program and is the chair of the SportMedBC Board of Directors.
Over the past twenty-five years Cox has served as a Sport Psychologist for many of Canada’s provincial and national sports organizations and athletes at both the amateur and professional ranks, including Vancouver Whitecaps FC and Canada’s Olympic team at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games.
Next up for Nolly and the Whitecaps is a May 22nd battle with the Rochester Rhinos.
Photo: Whitecaps FC