Jordan Dover played several sports growing up, but loved soccer the most. By 4 years old, his dad was coaching him up and helping him get better. His dad still calls him after each game to tell him what he saw, and what he could improve upon.
Dover started out as a midfielder, and loved to score goals. He looked up to Thierry Henry and Arsenal F.C., and still roots for them to this day. Dover didn’t move to defender until he was in college, after he and a teammate made an in-game adjustment.
“I was playing a game in college, and our right back was struggling to stop one of the opposing players,” Dover explained. “He and I decided to switch, to see if I could slow the guy down, and I’ve been a defender ever since.”
Making the switch from midfielder to defender may seem strange to some, but it felt natural for Dover. At defender, he could allow the game to come to him, and also use skills learned in the midfield to be comfortable on the ball.
Switching to defender also meant the offense wouldn’t go through him as often. But Dover accepted this change, and even embraced it. He liked the changes that the position brought: chances to be more vocal, chances to get others involved, and even the ability to surprise other defenders with his offensive repertoire.
Dover’s talent was on full display during the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup, where he played for the Guyana National Team.
“It was a great experience, to be able to play on the national stage is something I don’t take for granted,” Dover said. “Once we’re done playing soccer, all you’ll have to look back on are moments. That is a moment I will look back on for the rest of my life.”
Dover hasn’t let COVID-19 slow him down, even though it has been a strange few months. While maintaining his mental and physical shape, he has been able to reflect on his mindset.
“I think it also makes me value the game a little bit more,” Dover said. “Being away from the game has allowed me to see how much we take the game for granted, and how it isn’t promised to us. So to have the opportunity to go back out there and play the game I love is awesome.”