Jay DeMerit grew up in Green Bay, about two hours north of me. He was a high school star at Bay Port and went to University of Illinois Chicago to play soccer.
After he graduated, MLS didn’t want him, so he left the US with $1800 in his pocket and moved to England, joining a 9th division team, basically a sunday beer league.
After a year, with no money left, he got a trial with a 7th division team. Watford’s manager, then in the 2nd division, was in attendance to scout two other players, but really liked DeMerit and gave him a 2 week trial.
After the two week trial, he signed a one year deal and played for Watford all season. He scored the winning goal at Wembly that promoted Watford to the premiership, earning him legendary status with Watford’s fans.
He was a starter in the Premiership, playing with Watford for 6 seasons, scoring 9 goals as a central defender. He made the US National Team in 2007 and led the US to a 2-0 win against Spain in the 2009 Confederations Cup. He was named to the World Cup 2010 roster and started all four matches in South Africa. Now there’s a movie about him coming out in November.
DeMerit’s story in unreal. It shows that determination plus talent equals success. He wanted something so bad that he was willing to go broke for it, move to another continent and devote his time to it to make sure it was a success.
Be like Jay DeMerit. If you have a dream, go for it, work hard and give it your very best effort. Don’t make excuses. He could have easily said “im from a tiny town in the US, Major League Soccer doesn’t want me, im running out of money” but he didn’t. He didn’t whine, he just was determined to get better each day and found success beyond his wildest dreams.
Give it your best effort. If it doesnt work, its better to have lived and tried than to have given up without a fight.
DeMerit’s goal to take Watford to the Premiership