Just hours after winning the MLS Cup with the Seattle Sounders, Brad Smith was flying to Jordan to link up with the Caltex Socceroos squad.
His Seattle teammates have spent the week in raucous celebration since lifting the MLS Cup on Monday [AEDT], but Smith happily missed out on it all as he looks to play a part in the Caltex Socceroos’ crucial 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying clash with Jordan.
“I had about two and a half hours after the game (before leaving for the airport),” Smith said.
“It went by really quick because I had to say goodbye to everyone, there was a lot of beer getting thrown around everywhere, but I had to kind of tell the lads to calm down because I needed to get a shower and get out of there.
“But I got to the airport in good time, and I’m happy to come out here whenever the Socceroos need me.
“It was a great celebration, but ultimately now I’m looking forward to the game on [Friday morning AEDT].”
A win over Jordan in the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier in Amman would cap off an extraordinary week for Smith, who became the first Australian to both feature in and win the MLS Cup.
In front of their home crowd, the Sounders beat Toronto FC 3-1 to cap a dream year for the Penrith-born defender.
“I saw a lot of articles before the game saying I was the first Australian to play in a (MLS Cup) final, so I really wanted to win it to make history,” Smith said.
“Not just for that but for the club as well, and to be a part of something big.
“It was a dream come true, really, it’s hard to put in to words. Walking out in front of 70,000 fans at our home stadium was amazing.
“We didn’t start the game well, the first half wasn’t great and I thought the occasion got to us a little bit, we were a bit erratic at times.
“We went out there and dominated the second half and got the win. To be able to do that is a dream come true, really.”
NEWS FROM JORDAN: Ever-present Grant on verge of a perfect 10 in 2019
NEWS FROM JORDAN: Late call-up Duke itching to hit the Caltex Socceroos training pitch
Smith had next to no time to catch his breath after the superb victory, travelling from Seattle, through London to land in Amman on Monday night.
The intense travel schedule required to get Smith into the camp in time to prepare for the Caltex Socceroos’ clash with Jordan is a demanding aspect of being a footballer which Smith relishes.
“For me personally to wear this (Caltex Socceroos) shirt is always an honour, and no matter when I’m needed to do that I’ll be honoured and happy to do that,” Smith said.
“We want to play for our country and we’ve got to get used to (the travel).
“For me personally I’m just trying to get into the routine straight away, we had a good training session yesterday and I’m feeling good for the game.”
The Caltex Socceroos head into the game at King Abdullah International Stadium in top spot in Group B with a 100% record from their three matches so far.
Jordan are just two points behind Graham Arnold’s squad, underlining the importance of the clash.
“It’s such a big game tomorrow. The last game went really well, we had a great team performance,” Smith said.
“We’ve been scoring a lot of goals the last few games so for us we go into the game very confident and ready to go.”
NEWS FROM JORDAN: How dedicated Boyle prepared himself for Caltex Socceroos recall
NEWS FROM JORDAN: Fresh start helps Risdon rediscover his Caltex Socceroos form