Thursday’s OneSoccer Player & Pundit Hangout session saw Joel Waterman, Cavalry FC-turned-Montreal Impact defender, join the show to talk about being the first CPLer to jump to an MLS club, his year with the Cavs, and more.
Waterman chatted with OneSoccer hosts Asa Rehman, Kurt Larson, and Oliver Platt, who grilled him on a wide array of topics including his red card in Finals 2019, as well as getting him to divulge his picks for the most overrated and underrated players in the CPL’s first season.
Asked about how quickly his off-season move to the Impact came about, Waterman explained that he wasn’t necessarily expecting it to be so sudden, but he certainly had his eye on making the jump to MLS.
“I’m not surprised with where I’m at, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t surprised with how quick it happened,” he said. “I sometimes call my parents and friends back home and they say, you were playing at (Trinity Western University) a couple years ago and now you’re here, it’s a crazy, kind of profound situation and you don’t really see it a lot.”
To watch the OneSoccer’s Player & Pundit Hangout with Joel Waterman in full, click here.
Waterman made waves across the CPL community in mid-February when he made an early debut for Montreal. He entered in the 17th minute of the Impact’s first Concacaf Champions League match against Saprissa down in Costa Rica. As the only centre-back on the bench, Waterman got the call when Rudy Camacho went down early due to injury.
On the subject of how Montreal became interested in him in the first place, Waterman suggested things began with Cavalry’s Canadian Championship tie against the MLS outfit (which he didn’t even play in, due to injury).
“I found out about it after the season; some stuff was popping up on Instagram and Twitter about how Montreal was interested,” he explained. “I didn’t hear anything from Montreal, I didn’t hear anything from Tommy (Wheeldon Jr.) at Cavalry, so the rumours, I didn’t really pay much attention to them.”
Waterman admitted that, as the rumours died down, he began to assume there hadn’t been much to it. Still, he said he phoned Cavs coach Tommy Wheeldon Jr. in mid-December, who surprisingly told him that he was, indeed, in talks with the Impact.
“I waited about a week and he called me again and said they’ve sent over some transfer papers,” Waterman continued. “That was on a Monday — January 6th. On the Tuesday he called me and said it was a done deal, and I was in Montreal on the Friday.”
Waterman and the OneSoccer pundits went on to discuss all sorts of things, including what it’s like to play for the legendary Thierry Henry, the newly-installed head coach in Montreal. He also had some surprising picks for the OneSoccer crew’s rapid-fire CPL questions, not shying away from the tough ones.