We were able to catch up with our goalkeeper, Ryan Thompson, while on international duty for Jamica in the Copa Centenario for a quick Q&A
STL FC: Being assigned to the national team and becoming a father within the same day. Describe what each event individually means to you and what they mean together.
Thompson: When I learned that I was selected in the final 23-man squad to represent my country in one of the world's biggest tournament, it was a dream that became a reality. I was very happy but in the same breath I was in the hospital waiting for my first born to grace her presence on earth that same day. So I was really invested and focused on that moment. It was really hard for me to celebrate my personal achievement because something bigger than my achievement and my own life was about to happen. When she finally came at 6:37pm Friday May 20th my world turned upside down. I felt the most beautiful feeling I've ever felt in my entire life. It was a miracle or blessing and it is a day I will never forget. I felt every emotion there is on earth on that same day. God is amazing.
STLFC Follow Up: How has your cell phone bill been affected from Facetime-ing your family since you've been gone?
Thompson: I only got to spend 4 days with my princess so now that I'm away I FaceTime my wife and child every chance I get, literally 5 to 6 times a day just to make sure my wife know that she has my support no matter how far away I am. Also to see my baby's face. I don't want to miss out on anything. I'm fully invested. I get pictures of Piper every day. So now my phone is filled with baby pictures. So to answer your question my phone bill has definitely sky rocketed.
STL FC: What has been your experience between training camp though the first game of the Copa Centenario?
Thompson: Training camp has been great. It is very competitive especially with the goalkeepers. We have a quality group here competing for the number 1 jersey. I was grateful to have started the game against Chile and kept a clean sheet against a quality Chilean team. It feels great being a part of history by beating Chile on South American soil. My job is to make the coaches decision as difficult as possible. Thankfully I'm able to do that whenever my number has been called upon.
STL FC: Who on the Jamaican National team do you look most forward to playing with on your national team call ups?
Thompson: It's hard to single out a specific player that I look forward to playing with on my national team. We have quality players and we are all like brothers. However, I truly enjoy playing with Rudolph Austin, Jermaine Taylor, Joel Grant and Duwayne Kerr because we all came in the same youth national team. So it's great to see us still around playing with the big boys; Wes Morgan, Jobi Mcanuff, Adrian Mariappa, Garath Mccleary etc.
STL FC: The game in Chicago didn't end the way you wanted. What did it mean to you to see the support from St. Louis and the St. Louligans while on international duty.
Thompson: It was awesome to hear my name being sung in the stands by the Louligans. It meant everything to me so I made it my point of duty to let him know how much I appreciate it by letting him have my match jersey. That's the least I could've done.
STL FC: What did you hear about St. Louis before signing with St. Louis FC; about the city, soccer history, and the support for pro soccer?
Thompson: I've experienced the warmth; friendly and soccer craze culture first hand when I came to play against St. Louis last season. I fell in love that same day. Plus, I kept hearing great things about the culture and support the team gets from everyone that is invested in the club.
STL FC: The first portion of your USL season was abbreviated with an injury. How excited will you be to return to the team?
Thompson: I'm very excited to be back to help my team in any way form and fashion.
STL FC Follow Up: Who are the biggest characters you've met in St. Louis, on and off the field?
STL FC Follow Up: What's the biggest surprise you've found St. Louis since moving here?
Thompson: The professionalism of the club, the support from the community and also the quality of the coaching staff. It's amazing. I know I can grow as a goalkeeper under Brian Jones. I'm grateful to be a part of such organization.