One MLSer boasts arguably the best World Cup outing so far for 2018: Vancouver Whitecaps defender Kendall Waston. Featuring for the lovable Ticos of Costa Rica, this summer marked his first showing at the tournament, "a dream that [he] wanted," he told MLSsoccer.com.
As one of Concacaf's toughest sides, powered by physicality and plenty of heart, the Costa Ricans ended their run in the tournament with a 2-2 draw to Switzerland in the group stage. And though the score ended even, it came with plenty of theatrics — courtesy of Waston himself, who tallied the Ticos' first goal of this year's tournament with a header served up by Joel Campbell.
With a nation resting on his shoulders, though, Waston says he stayed energized thanks to his favorite music. We caught up with him to hear about which tracks kept him going on the global game's biggest stage, and through his return back to his club.
Salsarengue — they're from Venezuela and they sing salsa music. When I was in the third or fourth grade, they were always playing on the television back in Costa Rica. Every Saturday I would put this one show on, and they were always singing [on it].
What do you listen to before a big game like in the World Cup? What about during training?
Usually before games I like to listen to worship music, salsa, and reggae. But I don't have a single type of music I like to listen to; I have a variety of different types.
How does music play a role in getting your mindset right for such a big tournament?
It can influence me in a positive way, but sometimes I don't listen to it. But when I listen it's like my moment of relaxation and peace. I try to have my mind clear.
What are some of the best artists you've discovered through your teammates or the locker room?
African music — there is a singer named P-Square. I don't remember who played him first, but I started to listen to him in the locker room.
What's the best concert you've ever attended?
Beenie Man in Costa Rica. The music and everything was great; it was my first concert and it was amazing. I think I was 15 or 16 years old.