Passion kept Lindsay going
By MELISSA COUTO, QMI Agency
|TFC defender Nicholas Lindsay tries to take the ball away from a Vancouver Whitecaps player. (SUN files)
TORONTO - Nicholas Lindsay wasn’t sure if he’d get another chance to play competitive soccer just two years ago.
After a snowmobiling accident tore the ACL in his left knee, the Brampton native was forced to miss nearly two MLS seasons before returning to Toronto FC’s bench on Saturday for the club’s final home match of 2012 at BMO Field.
Though he didn’t get a chance to play in front of the home crowd of 16,151, Lindsay was content to simply put on the TFC red once more.
“It was incredible even to just be on the bench,” the 20-year-old said following a goalless draw with the Montreal Impact. “It’s been a journey but I’m so happy to be back feeling 100% both physically and mentally.”
Throughout his long rehab, Lindsay, who never contemplated quitting soccer, used his love of the game as the motivation for his recovery.
“Football is in my blood,” the TFC Academy graduate said. “When you grow up playing, it’s almost like that’s your life — you love it and you’ll do whatever it takes to get back to where you need to be — and that’s something that I took seriously and achieved.”
As his team struggled mightily all year (5-20-8 with one more MLS game to go), Lindsay found it increasingly challenging to sit on the sidelines.
Yet the young attacker found ways to lend a hand to his ailing club without actually playing.
“It’s definitely hard to be there and watch the games when you’re itching to get on the field as fast as you can, but it’s been a learning process,” he said. “I’ve learned so much about myself through this and I’ve learned to encourage my teammates, to be there for them, to give them advice, whatever I can do to help the team.
“It was tough to sit this one out, but there were positives that came from it.”
With the season nearly over, Lindsay is hoping those positives will keep coming.
In the four games he played with TFC in 2010, he recorded three assists. Now on the last year of his two-year-contract, Lindsay will be fighting for a spot on his hometown roster next season.
He’s not worried about the added pressure though.
“You’re fighting for positions every day, you’re fighting to show the team what you’ve got,” Lindsay said. “I have so much to give, there’s so much inside of me that wants to get out.
“I can’t wait for next year when I can really show these guys what I can do.”