MONTREAL – Moving to a new city, especially one where the culture is different from what you’re used to, is not an easy task. For the Montreal Impact's Andrew Wenger, however, it has been an opportunity to gain invaluable knowledge, and the time has come for him to share it.
On Tuesday, Montreal’s first-ever MLS SuperDraft pick posted the first in a series of pieces on the history and politics of Quebec for a soccer politics blog edited by Duke University professor Laurent Dubois, who teaches a course called "World Cup and World Politics" that Wenger took in college.
While taking a few extra classes with Professor Dubois, Wenger realized that he shared similar ideas with his professor, and started putting the blog post together to examine Quebec’s long history.
“I was just curious; that’s really what drove it,” Wenger told reporters after training on Wednesday. “If you know a little bit about the culture’s background, you can understand things more so you don’t get mad at certain things, there’s a little context for everything.”
In his 1,100-word article that he called “an introductory post to shed light on the back story of Montréal and its culture,” Wenger explained how Quebec’s fierce pride in their national identity and cultural history shapes the passion for sports in his new home, passion he’s been able to see first-hand when he scored his first professional goal – the winner – against bitter rivals Toronto FC on April 7.
“Whenever people in Montreal do something, they do it with 100 percent commitment and they really throw themselves into it,” Wenger said. “I think I’m going to expand on that in the next thing I write. Whether we talk fans, or supporting the [NHL's] Canadiens or even if you look at the political context, like the student movement – I’m kind of ignorant to what they’ve done, but they were just very passionate about their cause.”
Wenger, who admits to still being a little bit of an academic, reckons he is not the only intellectually curious person in the Impact locker room. A number of players still do some studying, whereas head coach Jesse Marsch, regardless of the fact he has not read the piece yet, has always appreciated Wenger’s academic endeavors.
“No, I heard about it though, and I bet it’s pretty good, because he’s a bright kid,” said the Princeton University alum, "despite going to Duke."