Vancouver Whitecaps News Release – www.whitecapsfc.com
Monday, November 2, 2009
VANCOUVER, BC — Vancouver Whitecaps FC defender Geordie Lyall announced his retirement from professional soccer.
“It has been a privilege to be a part of the Whitecaps organization for the past 11 years,” said Lyall. “I’ve been very fortunate to have played my career in such an amazing city. The players I played with, the championships we won, and the fans that supported us, will never be forgotten.”
Lyall leaves the professional game after 11 straight seasons with the club, having first seen action with the Blue and White during the 1999 campaign. The speedy fullback is ranked 15th on the Whitecaps all-time appearance list with 193 matches played and 12th all-time in minutes played for the club with 14,969. Born in Toronto, Ontario, the native of Victoria, BC, also scored five goals and added five assists during his Whitecaps career.
The defender won both the 2006 and 2008 United Soccer Leagues First Division (USL-1) championship titles as a member of the Whitecaps, with 2006 proving to be his best season with the club. Lyall’s efforts that year earned him a spot in the USL-1 All-League First Team and a nomination for the league’s Defender of the Year award.
“Geordie was a dedicated member of our club,” said Whitecaps president Bob Lenarduzzi. “As his one big asset was speed, Geordie demonstrated over the years that he had attacking qualities, while also proving to be one of the most difficult defenders for opposition players to beat. On top of that, Geordie is a solid individual that was always a good team player. We’re fortunate that he was with us for 11 seasons and wish him well in his future endeavours.”
Before joining the Whitecaps, Lyall was a standout in Canadian Interuniversity Sport men’s soccer with the University of Victoria Vikes. He also spent part of the 2006-07 English Football League Two season with Walsall FC and had a short spell in professional indoor soccer with former National Professional Soccer League club Edmonton Drillers in 2000-01. In December 2003, Lyall was a member of the Canadian Futsal national team that claimed a bronze medal in a four-nation tournament in Anaheim, California.
Geordie Lyall Retires: Another Great Departs
Another great gone!!! The turnover at the Whitecaps over the last 12 months has been tough to take, especially when those who have left have been the ones carrying the biggest burden for the Whitecaps for years and years.
When we name the long time players that have left, they really have been the heart and soul of the Whitecaps: Valente, Jordan, Clarke, Kindel. Lyall was perhaps the longest serving of them all, and not the least important. Geordie was a joy to watch over the years with his fantastic speed and strength. What made him the complete player was his character, which was impeccable. He gave his all for the Whitecaps and 86ers jerseys, and never pulled out of a tackle. When you consider these guys are not paid big amounts of money and are playing for the love of the game, it really is a credit to them that they play so hard.
I missed one of Geordie’s best moments: a goal scored against Romario’s Miami FC back in what was the Quarter Final in 2006. I was out of town. An ecstatic Geordie jumped into the spot where I usually stand and nearly knocked my dad over!
Geordie struggled all this year for fitness due to back injuries that have plagued him. Perhaps the struggle for fitness became too much, or perhaps it was just time to move on.
In any event, words can’t express the gratitude the fans feel for a guy like Geordie. Geordie was key in bringing us two USL-1 Championships. He was a real fan favourite who enjoyed the respect and admiration of all. In the years we watched him play I never heard one word of criticism about him from any of my fellow fans. I certainly never found fault with anything he did.
I hope Geordie comes to future matches so we can see him and thank him in person. We love you Geordie! All the best in the future and thanks for the memories.