The Javain Brown interview is done by Ben Righetti for Last Word on Soccer. Cristian Roldan, Cyle Larin, Darryl Dike. They are all typically names you think of with MLS success coming out of the Superdraft. Vancouver hasn’t always had the same luck, with multiple swings and misses on draft night. So when Javain Brown was drafted with the 23rd overall pick this past January, not much was expected of the young Jamaican. But after a pair of injuries to Jake Nerwinski and Bruno Gaspar, the University of South Florida alum was forced into a starting role.
Halfway through his rookie campaign, Brown had thoroughly impressed. Who many people considered a sleeper pick, is now cementing his place in Vancouver’s starting 11. I had the chance to sit down and talk with Brown upon his first training session back in Vancouver. This is the Javain Brown interview, which covers topics like the first practice and experience playing in Utah.
Javain Brown Interview – Vancouver’s 2021 MLS Draft Pick
Starting off, today was your first practice here in Vancouver, how’d it go?
“It was a great practice. The guys were physical and competitive. Everyone is happy to be home, it’s a great feeling.”
It’s your first year with the team so you weren’t able to experience Orlando and Portland last year with the team, how did it go living down in Utah with the squad?
“It’s not what we want, but realistically it’s what it is, so we have to be mentally strong. You know, to overcome all that stress. And I think the guys did it well.”
In those sorts of situations you have to really enjoy the little things, were there any sorts of activities or days out that you particularly enjoyed?
“The staff made us feel like we were home, they tried everything, they made us feel really good. I want to thank them for that, the club really worked hard for us to be as comfortable as possible, and I want to thank them for that. it was good, it was a good experience in Salt Lake. It’s not where we wanted to be but where we had to be.”
Coming out of the Superdraft and having Jake Nerwinski and Bruno Gaspar on the team, were you ever expecting such a sizeable role with the squad in your rookie campaign?
“I came here to play. I didn’t come here not to play. I’ve been in a lot of competitions since I was young, playing for the national team so I know what it’s like. I know you have to be patient and when your time comes you have to grab it with two hands. I’m still learning a lot from those two guys, Bruno and Jake, they’re still teaching me a lot and I learn from them. I just try to stay focused on the task at hand, you know I try to work hard. Not for myself, but for the team also because you can’t just be thinking about yourself, you’ve got to be a team player.”
You’re yet to play a game at BC Place and even really experience home fans. What are the veterans and the more experienced players on the team telling you about that?
“I’ve heard that it’s a great feeling to be at BC Place. But I don’t think about that yet because there is still a long way to go before BC Place. I try to think about the next game. You know the next game we’re going back to Salt Lake to play Minnesota. So when it’s time to go back to BC Place, I will think about that time. But for now, I’m just focusing on the game at hand.”
When you were making your MLS debut in a Whitecaps shirt, what was going through your head?
“I remember that game. Kansas City. We were down bad, I think 3-0. I went in and the 60th minute I think. It was a great feeling, but I wasn’t thinking about myself when I went on, because the team was down. I was thinking about going in and helping the team to see if we can even get a result from that game. We didn’t get a result, I was still happy, but at the same time, I was feeling down because we lost. I’m not going to feel happy and get my debut with a loss. I’m not selfish, I don’t think about myself at that moment.”
Has it sunk in yet that you’re a pro, that you’re living your childhood dream?
“Yea I had that moment, but I try to put that aside. I don’t try to get anxious and lose focus and stuff. As I said before, I’m trying to improve myself. I’m trying to be the best player I can be and trying to learn each and every step that I make. With these coaches, I think they’re giving me good instructions and training me well. This is the first time that I’ve ever trained this hard and have ever been this focused. I have a lot of family back at home so I’m trying to make them proud of me at every moment. ”
How has the transition been in terms of living on your own, far away from Jamaica?
“I mean I’m used to that, I’ve been away from my family for a while. I’ve been travelling with the national team, Jamaican national team a few times, and I went off to college. In college, I was living by myself so I had to basically do everything by myself. I’ve been doing that since I was in Jamaica. My mom always taught me, because my dream was always to play professionally. I always tried to fulfill my dreams and be as independent as can be.”