The two men met last Sunday at a Texas Rangers baseball game in Arlington. Watkins and his girlfriend were in the stands when they were invited to a private suite and introduced to the 43rd U.S. president.
"He was smiling and said it was nice to meet me. I couldn't believe it. He knew my name," Watkins said. "I really hated to do it but I asked, 'Can I get a picture with you?' "
Also: Watkins isn't the only Canadian with a shot to be taken early in the draft; as Orlando Franklin of the Miami Hurricanes has a shot too.
7. Can an MLS side compete against the world's best?
Well, we won't get a chance to find out for at least another year. Last night the Nutralite Canadian Championship got underway, with the Vancouver Whitecaps defeating the Montreal Impact 1-0 and Toronto FC downing Edmonton FC 3-0. It's the first step on a long road toward the FIFA World Club Cup, where in theory an MLS team would test themselves against the likes of Real Madrid. Much further down that road was Real Salt Lake, who needed only a draw at home last night to earn the CONCACAF entry in the FIFA World Club Cup in Japan and a chance to earn some bragging rights for MLS. It didn't happen: The trophy was there for the taking in the early moments of Wednesday night's CONCACAF Champions League final. Real Salt Lake stormed the Monterrey goal as if shot from a cannon, and the favored Mexicans were wilting. A single goal would have put the two-game series, tied after the first leg in Monterrey, firmly in the MLS club's control.
But the goal never game, and slowly but surely, both momentum and a chance to make American soccer history slipped from Salt Lake's grasp. A well-worked strike in first-half stoppage time gave Monterrey a lead it wouldn't relinquish, and they left the Rio Tinto Stadium field as the first victorious visitor in 23 months. The 1-0 result was enough to secure the Champions League title, 3-2, on aggregate, and the berth in December's FIFA Club World Cup that both RSL and MLS officials, players and fans were so desperate to claim.
"I feel pretty disappointed that we let everybody down, including ourselves. It stinks when everyone is rooting for you and behind you, and you don't come away with the win," RSL defender Chris Wingert told Sporting News.
A raucous, chanting, flag-waving and streamer-throwing crowd of more than 20,000 greeted the teams in a picturesque setting at the foot of the Wasatch Range, where RSL had been a dominant force for nearly two years. Last week's 2-2 draw in Monterrey, secured with Javier Morales' stunning 89th-minute goal, set the stage. And RSL came out of the locker room like a team on a mission. No MLS club had won the continental title since 2000, and none had ever competed for the world championship.
Morales and Fabián Espíndola tore through Monterrey time and again in the opening stages, and each chance that went awry seemed to hint at more chances to come. The best came in the 10th minute, when Espíndola stripped Monterrey defender Hiram Mier and was in alone on goal. But he pushed his shot wide right.
Slowly, the visitors found their legs and began to relieve some of the pressure, and the tide turned as halftime approached. A ball was played into the penalty area, Sergio Santana made the quick decision to pass around the charging goalkeeper rather than shoot, and a composed finish by Humberto Suazo put Monterrey into the lead past a stunned and bewildered host.
"For 75 minutes I felt like we were the aggressors. In minutes 30 to 45 we weren't, and that's when we got hurt," Salt Lake coach Jason Kreis said.