Alan Bates says he was honoured to be the Vancouver Whitecaps nominee for the Major League Soccer Community MVP Award.
"It was really neat the Whitecaps decided to support us in that way. We definitely got lots of public interest about it," said Bates, who grew up in Tsawwassen and is a South Delta Secondary grad. "I think its led to a stronger relationship between us and the Whitecaps as well."
The winner, which gets a $10,000 donation to the charity of their choice, was announced Wednesday at the league's AllStar Game in Philadelphia. There were 19 nominees, representing each MLS market, who competed in a two-week online contest.
Bates, a resident psychiatrist at the University of B.C., said he's already been notified he didn't win but said it was still an honour to be nominated.
He's the founder of the Vancouver Street Soccer League. It's "made up of teams that provide friendship for the homeless, physical fitness for the ill and addicted, direction for at-risk youth, and cultural focus for other unique communities such as inner-city First Nations people," the league's website states.
Bates coaches Portland FC, one of the nine teams in the league.
He noted the Whitecaps are having a number of street soccer players come out to their home game on August 11.