Marcel de Jong in a Canadian midfielder/defender currently playing for the Ottawa Fury and Canadian men’s national team, with who he has appeared for 43 times scoring 3 times. A grad of the PSV youth ranks, he has played for such note worthy clubs as Roda JC, FC Augsburg and Sporting Kansas City. We spoke to him via email about playing in North America vs playing in Europe and whether he’ll return to Europe.
SSPC: What lead you to the Ottawa Fury?
MDJ: What lead me to Ottawa Fury is that I obviously wasn’t very happy with my situation at Sporting Kansas city, and I needed a solution and it was very hard for me to find a club in Europe because the transfer window was closed at the time. So I decided that i needed to find a team where I can enjoy soccer again and have fun doing that. I heard a little bit about Ottawa and I immediately said that it would be perfect for me so I can play and feeling good while going to practice every morning. And I always said that I wanted to play soccer in Canada. So it was a win win for me.
SSPC: In comparison to Germany and the Netherlands how do North American crowds stack up?
MDJ: We haven’t played a home game yet but what I’ve heard from the guys is that we get a good descent size crowd every game. And that’s important for us,
At this moment you can’t compare it with the German or Dutch leagues. Just because soccer is their number 1 sport and it’s almost an religion over there. But I do have to say when I played with National team in BC this year that was truly something special for me and I think for the Canadian soccer as well. I think shows that it’s growing every year.
SSPC: Ottawa are a team suffered an almost explosion in the off season, losing their coach and several key players, after coming so close to being a championship side. What’s it been like arriving in that environment?
MDJ: Yeah it’s been a tough off season for Fury every year players come and go, specially when you have a good season and almost winning it. But unfortunately that is history now, and we good a really good bunch of new players and coach this year and I’m convinced that all the pieces coming together. And when it does it can be a special year for all of us!
SSPC: What are the biggest differences you’ve noticed between the NASL and MLS?
MDJ: The biggest difference between MLS and NASL is mainly the stadiums what i can tell from the first couple of games. But Fury stadium can be easily an MLS stadium.
Other than that I’m not really sure what else is a big difference. The level is much better than I thought in the NASL, so I’m pretty sure some teams can compete with some teams in the MLS.
SSPC: What was it like to play in front of 54,000 fans in Vancouver when you were playing in front of only about 10,000 in Toronto less than a year ago?
MDJ: Playing for that many fans was amazing. It also shows that soccer in Canada is growing and getting the support that we as players want and really need.
It is obviously different than in Toronto but also their the support is great but with less fans. But I’m pretty sure that’s changed now if we would have a WCQ their.
SSPC: Are you nervous about returning to Honduras?
MDJ: No I’m not nervous to go back I know what will be waiting for us over there. Of course it’s gonna be a tough night but definitely not nervous.
SSPC: Do you see yourself returning to Europe in the future?
MDJ: Yes i could see myself going back to Europe. My family lives in Europe. But my wife and daughter really love it here in Canada so it’s also a possibility that we are going to stay here. But as you know in soccer you never no what will happen and we it takes us.
Special thank to Jon Eden for his assistance in this article