This is the latest installment of We Are TFC. Every week, we’ll sit down with one of the Reds and help you get to know them a little bit better, on and off the field. This week, Devang Desai chats with Josh Williams. The versatile defender joined the Reds last season at the end of July. We hope you’ll enjoy this series and let us know which TFC players you’d like to see profiled in the future.
Take a look at your phone, what photo to you means the most and why?
WILLIAMS: This picture means a lot to me because it brings back so many memories of this dream journey I've been on. It always humbles me and reminds me that this won't last forever so I have to cherish every second of it.
Who is your favourite soccer player and why?
WILLIAMS: I would say Sergio Ramos. He started off right back and has kind of the same journey I have, moving into center back. He’s so athletic and good with his speed. He’s always a threat on goal. I just love his fearlessness and aggressiveness.
Who is the funniest player on the team?
WILLIAMS: (laughs) It’s got to be Danny Lovitz. Lovitz and Jay Chapman but Danny takes the cake. He’s got one liners for days. His type of humour too, I think he’s hilarious.
How would people close to you describe you in one word?
WILLIAMS: I would say kind. I feel like I always try to look out for people. I always want the best for people so hopefully that’s how people perceive me.
What’s your favourite pastime?
WILLIAMS: I would say reading or laughing. (laughs) I try to laugh as much as possible
What are you reading right now?
WILLIAMS: right now I’m reading a book called Legacy about the New Zealand All Backs Rugby team.
Who is your best friend on the team?
WILLIAMS: I would say Eriq Zavaleta and Danny Lovitz. Those two have been the people I’ve spent the most time with since I’ve been with TFC.
We’ll exclude Columbus due to its proximity to your hometown Akron, but what’s your favourite road city to travel to?
WILLIAMS: I would say Seattle or Portland. I love the Northwest. I think the cities are beautiful and there’s always so much to do. I love being outdoors and the scenery there so it’s fun to go there and we usually leave a couple of days early so it’s cool to take a trip out to see things we haven’t seen before.
This probably goes along the same lines but favourite place to play, venue wise?
WILLIAMS: I’ve always liked Kansas City, I think they have a cool stadium to play in. You also can’t go wrong with Portland and Seattle, the love and passion they show there and the numbers they bring out.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen a teammate do before a game?
WILLIAMS: I won’t name him (laughs), but I know he’s played in Toronto before. This guy used to throw up before every game. Whether he’d do it himself or if he had to force himself to do it. I always thought it was the craziest thing ever.
WILLIAMS: Shawshank Redemption.
Favourite music artist or who are you listening to right now?
WILLIAMS: I listen to a lot of country so I’ll say Jason Aldean.
How are you killing time during the off season? Visiting family, going on trips?
WILLIAMS: Both! I like to go home to my dog. He’s at my parents so I like to go home and spend some time with him and then I always try to get together with friends as well as some former teammates and visit them in their cities. We like to get together and go on a trip so I think we’re going to drive out West and explore there.
What would you suggest someone do in Akron?
WILLIAMS: You could go to LeBron’s house (laughs).
Is that a museum now?! (laughs)
WILLIAMS: It should be! But, we’re only a 30-minute drive from Cleveland so if you’re into that, sports, football, basketball, baseball – you could go there. It’s better to go to Cleveland really.
You’re a big Cavs fan. How cool was it to have them come to Toronto and play in the Eastern Conference finals?
WILLIAMS: To be able to go to a couple of games, it was amazing. The atmosphere in that arena was unbelievable. To be a part of that whole thing and for them to go on and win the whole thing, it’s something I’ll never forget where I was.
If you weren’t a soccer player, what would you be doing?
WILLIAMS: I think I’d be a sports agent or a coach. I have a passion for all sports, so if I couldn’t be in soccer, I’d probably be a coach in another sport.
What has been favourite moment with TFC so far?
WILLIAMS: Let’s see... every Giovinco goal (laughs)? I’ll say clinching the playoff spot last year at home against New York and then going off to celebrate with the fans to see the joy in their faces. That’s something I’ll never forget. Hopefully this year we can continue to add to that.
What was it like to come out of the tunnel this year against Dallas for the home opener?
WILLIAMS: It was amazing. You could tell it was something the city had been waiting for. Coming here as a rival player, you always notice how the city has such passion and you knew it was going to catch on. To be a part of that is something I will always cherish.
Who are your heroes in life?
WILLIAMS: My dad and my grandpa. Two of the hardest working guys and just complete gentlemen. They taught me how to work hard and how to be a good man. Those two are definitely two people I try to emulate every day and try to be close to who they are. They helped put me on the right path.
What is your ultimate goal in life?
WILLIAMS: To be happy and to have no regrets when I look back on my life. When my soccer career is over and I’m old and grey, I want to look back and enjoy every aspect and chapter in life, and realize I didn’t regret anything.
When I say Toronto, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind?
WILLIAMS: Passion. Passion for all sports.