This is the sixth 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 midfielder Jay Chapman, who signed with the club as a homegrown player in January of last year . 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?
CHAPMAN: I have a picture of Nick Hagglund and I from my MLS debut from last year’s game against San Jose. There were a lot of emotions. It’s just a simple picture but for me there’s a lot behind it.
Who is your favourite soccer player and why?
CHAPMAN: David Beckham. I grew up watching him and I was a huge Manchester United fan. I liked what he represented. He was a great player.
How would people close to you describe you in one word?
CHAPMAN: I like to goof around a lot. I like to have fun. People would describe me as energetic and funny.
Who is your best friend?
CHAPMAN: My best friend is Alex Bono. We live together and spend pretty much every second of the day together so we have a really good bond. We look out for each other.
Must get heated when Syracuse takes on Michigan State…
CHAPMAN: [laughs] when they’re playing each other in basketball we’re always chirping each other.
Do you have any quirks or superstitions before matches?
CHAPMAN: I always like to go out for dinner the night before just to get a really good meal in. I also wear two pairs of socks when I play.
What about your teammates, past or present?
CHAPMAN: I know that Tsubasa Endoh says that before warm ups he doesn’t like to touch a soccer ball at all that day. If you try and pass him a ball in the locker room he runs away from it [laughs].
Funniest moment in the past year?
CHAPMAN: When the guys boxed in Sebastian Giovinco’s car at the Training Ground. Seba took it really well but we had a good laugh about it.
Favourite music artist?
What is your favourite pastime?
CHAPMAN: I like to watch movies and go to parks and hang out with my friends.
How do you kill time during the off-season?
CHAPMAN: I spend about a week or two to just get away and not touch a soccer ball. I’ll go on a least one vacation and the rest of the time I’m training or visiting family. A lot of time is devoted to getting prepared for the next season.
How’s the adjustment been from College to the pro ranks?
CHAPMAN: I think it’s been a little bit easier than expected because I’ve come back to my home country and my hometown so I know people here, my family is here. I still have a lot of connections back at Michigan State and I get to see them every now and then. I think it’s been really smooth. I’m coming back to a familiar place.
If you weren’t a soccer player what would you be doing?
CHAPMAN: I’d probably be an actor to be honest with you.
Who would you mold yourself after?
CHAPMAN: Someone funny. Maybe Ryan Reynolds.
Your favourite moment with TFC thus far?
CHAPMAN: Playing in the Manchester City game last year. I have pictures of me playing against Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero [laughs]. I never thought that would be possible. It was an amazing opportunity but the best is yet to come.
Who are your heroes?
CHAPMAN: My Mom. She’s my number one hero. She’s given up so much for me to be in this position. The amount of driving and travelling that she did when she had to work the next day. I used to travel to Ottawa, drive two to three hours to just to train. She gave up a huge chunk of her life just to help me start mine. I can’t thank her enough.
When I say ‘Toronto’ what’s the first thing that comes to your mind?
CHAPMAN: Family. If we’re talking supporters, if we’re talking individually. In this city it’s like our motto: ‘All For One.’ The fans are always behind us. They’re very passionate and they care about us. When you have a group of players, staff and fans it all comes together.
What is your ultimate goal in life?
CHAPMAN: To be the best player I can be and play at the highest level. I’m going to enjoy myself and try to better myself every day.
Let us know who you would like to see featured in the next We Are TFC!