Goalkeeper, Sean Johnson, currently plays in Major League Soccer (MLS) for the Chicago Fire and is also a member of the US Men’s National Team. Go on the road with Johnson this year as he gives you a player’s view into each MLS city, as only he can do. Take a look:
Ok I’m back! Eight games into the season and it seems like time is flying. We went from having three weekends without playing, to now having three away games in a week. So you know what that means…it’s time to load up the suitcase and hit the road again. First up on our road trip, Vancouver!
Let me be the first to say, Vancouver is one of the most beautiful cities I have been to. Mind you, I’ve done a lot of traveling in my 26 years on this planet. I’ll explain why. Not only is Vancouver scattered with endless mountain ranges, a beautiful harbor, and beautiful people…but it’s also home to some of the most amazing cars I've seen driving on the road! Every time I looked up there was a Ferrari zooming out of a parking garage. I saw two McLarens, one which was parallel parked on the street…ON THE STREET!!! If you need a moment to gather yourself after reading that, take a deep breath and stay with me ;)
I only got to spend a couple days enjoying the city, but I was able to catch up with my friend, and one of the best young defenders in the league, Tim Parker. I first met Timmy this year in US Men’s National Team camp in January. And for those of you familiar with Canada, no, I did not sit down with Tim at Tim Horton’s (Canada’s equivalent to Dunkin Donuts). Although, I did stop in and grab coffee and donuts because it’s a must. I sat down with him to get an insider about this amazing city:
SJ: What are your favorite restaurants in the city?
Cactus Club (English Bay) - I specify the location because the location is key when it comes to this restaurant. There are a bunch across the city but this one has the best view as it’s on the beach and the food and service is fantastic.
Medina Cafe - I am a big breakfast/brunch guy and this place has exceptional brunch. The waffles and entrees here are incredible. It may be a little bit of a wait but it’s all worth it.
Meat & Bread - This place is great for a sandwich. It rotates its menu so it doesn’t serve the same thing daily which is always good and I’ve tried plenty of their options, all have been very good.
SJ: What’s the best time of year to be in the city? And why?
TP: Best time to be in Vancouver is for sure the summer. The weather is perfect around the 80’s and almost no humidity. There is so much you can do outside in the summer that it keeps you busy and keeps you from staying in.
SJ: What do you love about your city?
TP: The thing I love about my city is the pure beauty of it. I think it’s hard to miss the views and the amazing landscape that the city provides with the mountains in the background.
SJ: I’ve seen a lot of fancy cars cruising around the city, what’s your favorite that you’ve seen?
TP: There is definitely a fair share of nice cars cruising around Vancouver but I think my favorite is the BMW i8 and to be honest, there are a lot more than you think.
SJ: Best hidden gem in your city?
TP: The best hidden gem is a toss up. I am going to have to say that the ability to get out of the city and to go do hikes and exploring the nature of Vancouver is breath-taking.
SJ: Best breweries/pubs/bars in your city to watch a match?
TP: I have had really good experiences at a couple places but I will have to give a shout-out to one of the Whitecaps supporter bars called Red Card. They are always showing the best games and have a great menu. Also helps I’m a sucker for their pizza.
SJ: What are some of the most famous landmarks in your city? Have you visited them?
TP: Some of the most famous landmarks in the city include the Lions Gate Bridge and the Steam Clock in Gastown. I have visited both before and I think the bridge is exceptional as it links Stanley Park to North and West Vancouver. The area surrounding the Steam Clock in Gastown is also great for walking around and restaurants.