Feature: Davy Arnaud

A veteran's journey to Washington

It was a heavy media week for D.C. United, and Davy Arnaud had just told his story to a reporter the day before this interview. He was selected as the 50th pick in the MLS SuperDraft in 2002, going to the then-Kansas City Wizards. Davy played for West Texas A&M’s Division II soccer program and earned his way to a trusted MLS veteran, often a captain, and a proven professional in 13 years.

So, instead of having Davy retell his MLS journey, we had some fun with word association. Here is his soccer-specific life story in four words:

Kansas City: Home
Montreal: An experience
DC: Tradition

“It’s kind of crazy. It’s gone so fast, but I still love it.”

He isn’t simply playing the game he loves; he is fighting for a group of guys he believes in—a group of guys he continues to give his all for.

“We have a good group that is close,” he said. “It’s good to have that because you feel like you want to win for each other, which is good. You don’t always have that in every locker room. We definitely have that here.”

The bond the players have is definitely visible; they feed off each other. From little things like picking up each other’s saying and gestures, to having no fear going in for a 50/50 ball, knowing your teammates have your back.

Longest Road: (Laughs) Settlers of Catan
Cheater: Some of these guys playing Settlers of Catan

This strategy-based board game is how United players spend their time in the lounge after training. Davy, affectionately known by this writer as “the Catan Master,” has been playing for a long time.

“It’s a good game; it’s fun.”

According to Jared Jeffery (a daily Settler) a win only counts if Davy is playing. This made Davy chuckle. Then, he commented that he can’t stay late to play Catan with his teammates anymore because his family has finally joined him in DC.

“It feels normal again, you know what I mean?” he said with a smile.

Davy, his wife Stephanie, 5-year-old daughter Peyton and 2 year-old-son Brody live in Ashburn, Virginia, which, according to Google Maps, is about an hour drive to RFK.

“It’s been okay so far, but I’ve only been doing the drive for a week or two.” But, carpooling with Lewis Neal and Conor Shanosky “makes it better,” he said. “We have good conversation.”

Family: The most important
Turquoise: My Mom

“Preseason is hard being away from your wives, or girlfriends, or whatnot, but when you add your kids into that, it’s really hard,” he recalled. “They’re the most important thing in my life. When you’re not around them, it’s not easy.”

If your dad was a professional soccer player, you would think soccer ran in your blood, right? Well, maybe not so much for Peyton.

“We put her in soccer in Montreal, and she really couldn’t have cared any less,” he laughed. “But, it’s cool! She is interested in other things. We have her in gymnastics and she loves that. She couldn’t care less about the whole soccer thing, that’s for sure!”

The soccer-legacy hopes are not lost, though. Enter, son Brody.

“He’s a handful,” Davy smirked. “He’s just such a boy. He is into superheroes, soccer, golf and baseball, all of that.”

While changing the subject from his family back to soccer, the expression on his face is worth noting. When talking about his family, his ear-to-ear smile was effortless, and you could see the passion in his eyes. When speaking of his team, the passion remained. His smile, however, turned to a determined expression.  

“We’re still confident” he stated, firmly. “We had a good preseason. It’s unfortunate we lost our first home game, but I don’t think it was a 3-0 game, but that’s soccer sometimes. As a group, it hasn’t changed what we believe.”

He’s worked through thirteen MLS preseasons, played thirteen MLS seasons with post-season hopes. For Davy, that’s 300 games played, 267 games started, 48 goals, 24,112 minutes, 43 assists, 506 shots taken, 406 fouls committed, 56 yellow cards, four red, and three different cities to call home. 

One last word left in our game:

MLS: My life.