One moment in time stands out for Jamie Smith
Family and friends will surround Jamie Smith on Wednesday night as the former midfielder is honored by the Colorado Rapids ahead of their home game with LA Galaxy (TICKETS).
The softly-spoken Scotsman, so-often sporting a cheeky smile and a twinkle in his eye, shies away from the spotlight, previously preferring his soccer do the talking, and so nerves will play a part when he stands in front of a Dick's Sporting Goods Park crowd without a ball at his feet.
Instead, wearing a traditional Scottish kilt and greeted onto the field by a piper, Smith will rightly be afforded one final bow, before a set of supporters that instantly took him to their hearts.
"Maybe it was the accent," he said, on being asked why he was so popular with the Rapids fans.
Smith made his debut as a 71st minute substitute for Colin Clark in a 1-0 home loss to Columbus Crew on August 1, 2009. He would play just four games that year, before injury brought a premature end to his season. It would be in 2010 when he would leave his mark. As part of the side which stormed to victory in the MLS Cup that year, Smith was instrumental in the success, leading the team in assists (8).
And, for a player who performed in front of 60,000 fans most weeks when with Scottish giants Celtic, and was part of the squad which reached the 2003 UEFA Cup final, the 33-year-old barely skipped a beat when asked for his career highlight.
"That season (2010), to do what we did, going there unexpectedly and winning the MLS championship, and in the fashion - we played some good soccer and ground out some results," Smith added.
"The spirit in the locker room, the attitude from the guys and again - just to be part of it - that's what team sports is all about."
Smith endured his fair share of set-backs while wearing the Rapids jersey, suffering an ACL tear in the first game of the 2011 playoffs (pictured right), which would mean six months out of the game.
He would return in 2012, only to be used sparingly under new head coach Oscar Pareja, starting twice in his final 16 appearances. The last of his seven goals would come in the opening home game of 2013, with his final appearance being on April 28 last year in the 1-1 tie at Houston Dynamo.
Smith retired at the end of last season, and is now passing on his knowledge to the Rapids stars of tomorrow. He made 62 appearances for the club, over a three-and-a-half year period. For those that watched him play, it wasn't the quantity of games, but the quality of play which marks him down as a player worthy of this Wednesday's honor.
A member of the Class of 2010. Jamie Smith, enjoy your curtain call.