What do the names Nick Rimando, Kyle Beckerman, Jamie Moreno, Dwayne De Rosario, Brad Davis, Brian Mullan, Landon Donovan, Davy Arnaud, Kevin Hartman, and Brian Carroll all have in common?
They have all hit the landmark level of 300 career games in Major League Soccer. It’s an illustrious club with only 25 members able to join in the 18-year history of MLS.
With Sunday’s start in the Portland Timbers 3-2 victory over the Montreal Impact, club captain Jack Jewsbury became the 26th member of that exclusive group.
Over the course of an impressive 12-year career, Jewsbury managed to hit the mark while playing with only two teams: 195 games with the Kansas City Wizards (2003-2010) and 105 appearances for the Portland Timbers (2011-present).
For Jewsbury, it is a moment he will not soon forget.
“It’s a nice accomplishment to have under your belt,” he said following the game. “It feels a lot better with a win so I’ll remember this one.”
The Joplin, Mo. native was drafted by Kansas City in the fifth round (43rd overall) after a standout career at St. Louis University. Jewsbury played only two games his rookie year in KC but quickly earned his spurs in his second season as a regular starter. For the next ten years, Jewsbury averaged 28.2 games a season with 22.9 of them being starts.
After establishing himself as one of the most respected players in the league in eight seasons with the Wizards, the Timbers acquired him in an offseason trade just before the start of their inaugural MLS campaign in 2011.
Named the first team captain in Portland's MLS history, Jewsbury went on a career-year tear in 2011 scoring seven goals and adding eight assists. It was a performance that also had him voted to the Fan XI of his first-ever MLS All-Star Game.
“He’s in an elite group of guys,” said head coach Caleb Porter. “There’s not many.”
“What’s nice is, it’s a win. When you make it a win, then now it’s become more memorable and he can store that in the memory bank. He’ll remember the 300th game because we won the game on the road.”
A fan favorite since his arrival in the Rose City, Jewsbury has also provided steady leadership in the locker room for young and veteran players alike.
“Somehow he's always around and he's always on the field and he's always making plays," Timbers midfielder Will Johnson told The Oregonian in June. “There's a reason for that. You don't have a 12-year career if you don't have some special attributes.”
Jewsbury’s versatility to be able to play various positions on the backline as well as in the midfield has made him a key player to the squad. While his hustle and soccer smarts are noticed by many, it is his selflessness that is one of his greatest attributes.
“It doesn’t feel too long ago when I played that first one,” said Jewsbury with a smile. “It goes by quick.”
And as for the next 300 games?
“I don’t know about that,” laughed Jewsbury. “We’ll shoot for 400 first.”
Thanks to everyone for the kind messages on 300th game! So much sweeter with a big road win!— Jack Jewsbury (@JewsburyJ) July 28, 2014