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Jay DeMerit

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A hard-nosed, solid central defender, DeMerit is as fearless as he is committed. He proved his chops in the 2009 Confederations Cup when he was called into starting duty, more than capably pairing with Oguchi Onyewu to form the backbone of the U.S. defense that reached the final. That success carried over to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, where he was one of five players to play every minute. One of American soccer’s great Cinderella stories, DeMerit went from completely off the radar to starting for a team in the Premier League in just a few short years. Moving to Europe on the advice of a friend, DeMerit gained a tryout with semi-pro side Northwood before impressing Watford and then-manager Ray Lewington in a friendly. Rising through the ranks, DeMerit was soon in the starting lineup, and just as quickly became an integral part of the Hornet’s charge to the Premier League in 2006. After four seasons, he joined MLS as part of the expansion Vancouver Whitecaps.

  • Started and played every minute at centerback for the U.S. at the 2010 FIFA World Cup
  • His fearless performance epitomized the team effort that led to the 2-0 victory against No. 1-ranked Spain in the semifinals of the Confederations Cup 
  •  When he made his MNT debut against Guatemala in March of 2007, it was the first time that he had taken part in or even been included in the player pool for a national team game at any level
  • Spent six years at Watford, after initially joining the club on only a two week trial in 2004, rising through the ranks to become team captain
  • Scored one of the most memorable goals in recent memory for Watford fans when he headed home the winner in the playoff finals against Leeds United in 2006 that gained the team promotion to the English Premier League
2010: His seven starts in 2010 marked a career best … Played 90 minutes in six consecutive matches, ending with all four at the 2010 FIFA World Cup … Went 70 minutes in the 2-1 loss to Holland on March 3 in Amsterdam … 2009: Set career highs for games played (7) … Entered for an injured Carlos Bocanegra to help preserve the 2-1 win in qualifying on June 6 against Honduras in Chicago … His fearless performance epitomized the team effort that led to the 2-0 victory against No. 1-ranked Spain in the semifinals of the Confederations Cup … He inadvertently scratched the cornea in his left eye in September while removing a contact lens, which required surgery … 2008: Made his World Cup qualifying debut against Barbados by helping keep a clean sheet in the 1-0 win on June 21 in Bridgetown … Entered as a second half sub in the memorable 0-0 draw against Argentina on June 8 at Giants Stadium, helping preserve the shutout … Niggling injuries restricted his appearances toward the end of 2008, and he had to withdraw from a few camps with minor knocks … 2007: Called into his first national team camp at any age group in March of 2007 … Made his first appearance for the U.S. when he started and played the full 90 minutes against Guatemala on March 28 in Frisco, Texas, helping to maintain a clean sheet … A member of the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup squad that placed first in the tournament … Made two appearances in the Gold Cup, against Guatemala and Trinidad & Tobago … Also traveled to Venezuela as a member of the 2007 Copa America side … Appeared in two games in Venezuela, including starting and playing a full 90 minutes against Argentina … Also included for squads against Sweden, Brazil and Switzerland …First Appearance: March 28, 2007, vs. Guatemala … First Goal: None.
2010: Joined the expansion Vancouver Whitecaps of MLS in December of 2010 … 2009-10: His final season at Watford was marred by injuries, including an abdominal problem that kept him out of their final three matches … After taking his usual station at center back to start the season, the eye injury forced DeMerit out of 13 matches from Sept. 12 to Nov. 28 … Completed his career at Watford with 168 league starts, never appearing in less than 22 matches in a season …  2008-09: Finished the 2008-09 season with 32 appearances, tied for his second most in five seasons at Watford … In a turbulent beginning half of the campaign which saw a Watford coaching change, DeMerit remained as captain throughout … 2007-08: Made 37 appearances for Watford in the Championship, scoring once and getting one assist, but the team endured a tough end to the season … After being well positioned for automatic promotion during much of the campaign, a run of bad results meant that they had to play in the playoffs, where they were eliminated by Hull City ... 2006-07: Ever-present in Watford’s defense, making 32 appearances in the Premier League for the club … Scored twice in league play … Also made five starting appearances for Watford in the FA Cup as they advanced to the semi-finals of the competition … Watford were relegated in 20th place at the end of the 2006-07 season … 2005-06: One of Watford’s key members in their charge for promotion to the Premier League … Made more than 35 appearances for the Hornets in all competitions … Enhanced his reputation as an athletic all-around defender and became one of the most respected man-markers in the Championship … Capped off his fine season when he scored the winning goal in the Championship playoffs as Watford advanced to the Premier League for the first time since 2000 … 2004-05: After impressing then Watford manager Ray Lewington in a friendly, he joined the Championship side on a two-week trial period …This led to a one year deal for the 2004-05 season … Amazingly, he made 32 appearances for the Hornets, including 22 starts in the Championship … Finished the season with three goals … As a starter and increasingly important member of the team, he earned an increase to his previously one-year deal.

Earned varsity letters in three sports in high school: football, soccer and track and field … Counts himself a huge Green Bay Packers fan … Honored to lead the Packer faithful in singing “Roll out the Barrel” at the team’s final regular season game in 2010 on Jan. 2, 2011 against Chicago … Collects Mexican wrestling masks often used in Lucha Libre.

Starred for University of Illinois at Chicago from 1998 to 2001 … In his time there he made the move from forward to defender … Lead the Flames to the NCAA tournament in 2000.

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