What happens when you’re given the opportunity to achieve greatness? Oftentimes it means taking a giant step out of your comfort zone in order to excel. It means putting yourself out there, exposing your vulnerabilities, and risking failure. Glory takes courage, and for some, the risk of venturing outside one’s safety net proves to be too intimidating.
But for others, that uncomfortable, daunting pursuit of success is fuel for their ambition. For those up for the challenge, victory remains to be seized.
For Jonathan Osorio, triumph is up for the taking.
The midfielder for Toronto FC (TFC) is on a mission to do his city proud, and change the face of soccer in Canada. With the ink barely dry on a new, multi-year contract he signed with his hometown club in late 2018, the 26-year-old has graduated to becoming one of the “highest paid Canadian [soccer] players in the world,” according to the club’s president, Bill Manning. And with that, he’s gained new-found recognition that will hopefully open doors for Canadian soccer players here on home turf, and abroad.
“Canadians, unfortunately, aren’t really respected in the football world and even here, domestically. But I think that’s starting to change,” Osorio says.
At the top of the TFC’s leaderboard both in minutes and in games played, Osorio’s promotion is evidence of his ability to lead on the pitch. While the team may have struggled during the 2018 season, the Toronto-native celebrated a banner year, scoring 16 goals in 35 matches across Major League Soccer, theCONCACAF Champions League, and the Canadian Championship. But any win for Osorio is a win for his team.
“We’re getting a little bit more attention now. Before, if you were good, they would say that you were good for a Canadian player, not just a good soccer player,” Osorio explains. “I think we’re starting to be talked about in the same breath as everyone else. We’re not Canadian soccer players, we’re soccer players, and we want to be compared at that level.”
Winning on the pitch also means looking the part. Soccer is no stranger to the world of fashion, especially when you consider sartorial greats like David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Zinedine Zidane, all of whom wielded personal style into their football legacies.
“What I wear depends on how I’m feeling that day—the context around the game, how important it is, and who we’re playing against. I usually wear dress shirts to home openers as a way to signify that it’s the beginning of business,” Osorio remarks. “Then I get a little more casual as the summer comes. I like to [dress] the way I feel in the moment.”
This 2019 season, on the field or off it, whether he’s in a suit or a kit, Osorio’s up for the challenge.