This is the second installment of We Are TFC. Every Wednesday, 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 defender Justin Morrow, who is in his third season with Toronto FC after joining the team via a trade with the San Jose Earthquakes. The Cleveland, Ohio native became a father last season and is enjoying life as a doting Dad. We hope you’ll enjoy this series and let us know which TFC players you’d like to see profiled in the future.
Taking a look at your phone – what picture means the most to you and why?
MORROW: This is going to be easy. I’m looking at a picture of me, my daughter and my wife. Having our kid recently, and this new family means so much to me.
Coming home every day to two happy ladies has to be enjoyable
MORROW: Yea, definitely. I know they’re there waiting on me and greeting me with smiles, sometimes cries, but that’s how it is at the moment.
How would people close to you describe you in one word?
MORROW: There’s a lot of sides to me. I’m fun, I’m quiet sometimes, pensive sometimes but the most general term to describe me is ambitious because I think everyone that knows me knows I’ve always set high goals for myself and I’ve always looked to do some pretty cool things throughout my life.
What’s your favourite pastime?
MORROW: My wife and I, I wouldn’t say it’s one of our hobbies, but we love going out for meals. Throughout our whole relationship we’ve been in some cool places and lived in some cool cities and one of the things we like to do is go out and try different foods. That’s been incredible in Toronto.
Don’t want to put you on the spot here, but what’s your favourite restaurant in Toronto?
MORROW: We really love this spot called Carmen on Queen West. It’s Spanish restaurant and their paella is amazing. It can match any paella I’ve ever had.
Your favourite soccer player and why?
MORROW: I really enjoy watching Dani Alves. For the things that are asked of an outside back he goes above and beyond. His skill set is unmatched in that position. I think he brings something completely different to the table and he’s unpredictable.
He’s got his fair share of haters
MORROW: (laughs) To be fair I don’t follow him on social media and I don’t know what he’s like as a person outside of the soccer field at all. But I can tell he’s the type of character that you either love or hate.
The funniest moment in the past year or so?
MORROW: Okay, I’ll give you a funny moment. I remember when Nick Hagglund said in an interview that we were friends with Montreal and that he wanted them to win the CONCACAF Champions League and that we were going to support them because we’re all friends. I remember giving him a lot of crap for that.
You weren’t the only one..
MORROW: (laughs) yea.
Who is your best friend?
MORROW: I have two best friends back home. One is Mark Blades and the other is Barry Rice. We grew up playing soccer together for a long time. We’ve just been the best of friends and they’ve also had my back on anything and I've always had their back. It’s a good relationship.
Do you have any quirks or superstitions?
MORROW: There’s some stuff I do that I won’t say (laughs). There’s always little things that I always do. I put on my kit in the same order.
What about your teammates? Clint Irwin said that a teammate had to force themselves to throw up before games.
MORROW: I was actually going to say the same thing. It was just one player.
Maybe it was the same guy..
MORROW: I’m not going to name the player, but maybe..
MORROW: Kill Bill, both volumes.
Favourite music artist?
MORROW: Andre 3000
How do you kill time during the off-season?
MORROW: We’re always travelling. We always spend a lot of time in Buenos Aires during Christmas because my wife’s extended family is there.
If you weren’t a soccer player what would you be doing?
MORROW: I have a lot of answers to this question. I studied finance in school and I’d really love to use it one day. Maybe investment banking.
Did you watch the Big Short?
MORROW: I did. I didn’t like it that much. The story is all there, we lived through it but I didn’t like the way they portrayed it artistically.
Your favourite moment with TFC?
MORROW: I have a lot of favourite moments. My first season here we won in Seattle and then at home versus D.C when the weather was terrible to start the season. You could tell there was a new energy with this club and the fans were incredible. I’ll never forget that win. And then last year, when we clinched a playoff spot against the Red Bulls here at home. It was another step towards our greater goal, which is winning a championship. Those are steps along the way and one that I won’t forget.
As a fan of this club growing up, being able to stand on the field as the final whistle went was pretty surreal
MORROW: In my whole career throughout MLS feeling the energy on the field after that game was incredible.
Who are your heroes?
MORROW: My father and my mother. They’re incredibly resilient people. They had me at a really young age and were probably confused and scared. But they raised me right and they’ve always been great parents and always been there for me and supported me in so many different ways. They’re my big heroes.
What’s your ultimate goal in life?
MORROW: Man, now we’re getting all philosophical (laughs). I want to be happy in life. I want my family to be happy, I want to provide for them and I want to raise my children the right way.
When I say “Toronto” what is the first thing that comes to mind?
MORROW: Fun. I really enjoy the city. The people are so nice and so diverse. They draw you in so many different ways. There’s so many things to do in this city. I think it’s a very underrated city that people in the States don’t give as much credit to until they come here and realize for themselves.
Let us know who would like to see featured in the next We Are TFC!