Old friends become new rivals
Davy Arnaud and Jack Jewsbury have a lot in common.
They both started their careers in Kansas City as developmental players, one year apart.
They both left KC to join expansion teams in their inaugural seasons, Jewsbury with the Portland Timbers in 2011 and Arnaud with the Impact in 2012.
They both have played in over 200 games in MLS, most of which as midfielders, and they both are well-respected around the league.
“Jack is what this league is all about,” said Arnaud.” That’s why he’s lasted so long and that’s why he means so much to Portland.”
“Davy is someone who I think, as a leader, guys want to fight for because they see how much he puts in every day,” Jewsbury told Impact Media.
But over the eight seasons they played together, they developed more than just a healthy respect for one another. They became great friends.
“We’ve known each other since I got drafted in 2003, when I was a rookie,” explained Jewsbury. “It was Davy’s second year. We hung out in the same group, became roommates the following year and developed into really good friends. It was one of those things where we had a lot in common.”
“You know you meet a lot of great people over the years playing this game,” mentionned Arnaud. “But there are some guys that you keep in touch with, remain good friends. Jack is one of those guys. We were in each other’s wedding; we had kids at the same time; our wives are good friends. We have had so many experiences together.”
And now, despite playing on opposite ends of the continent, their experiences have paralleled each other once again.
In 2012, Arnaud was named the first ever captain of the Montreal Impact in its inaugural season in MLS, a feat Jewsbury realized in 2011 for the Portland Timbers in their expansion year.
So, it’s no wonder that they leaned on each other when they got the phone call confirming their move out of KC, where they spent eight seasons playing together.
“It seems like Jack and I have experienced a lot of similar things in our lives and careers,” said Arnaud. “He’s someone I can relate to. I talked to him a lot when he first went to Portland, about his transition and then I spoke to him when I was traded to Montreal. It was very helpful.”
“We both got to a point in our careers where we may have not been playing as much as we would have liked, but to get the opportunity to go somewhere where we’d have a bigger role on the team was something we couldn’t turn down,” said Jewsbury.
Enemies on the pitch
Despite this friendship that spans almost a decade, come game time Saturday, friends become enemies for 90 minutes.
“You play even harder against your friends,” Arnaud told us. “Jack is like my brother, so when you are on the field, you don’t want anything more than to beat someone you’re close to, and I don’t expect anything less from him. It’ll be the first time we ever play against each other in a league game, so it should be exciting. We might have to mend our friendship a little after the game because we’ll be kicking each other during it, I know that.”
“Loser will most likely buy dinner,” added Jewsbury, before he ended the interview by saying with a laugh, “Do me a favour; give Davy a good punch in the stomach for me.”
Let’s leave the punching to them this Saturday.