Hugo Boss & Sharp
Liam Fraser may only be 22 years old, but you wouldn’t know it from talking to him. The homegrown Toronto FC midfielder is a rising star and a man wise beyond his years – polished, poised, and ready to take on anything with style and preternatural grace. Whether on the field for TFC or Canada’s national team or off the field, Fraser has established himself as a leader, and a young man worth watching. We caught up with him from his home in Toronto just before he took off for Orlando to compete in Major League Soccer’s MLS Is Back Tournament to talk football, role models, and the benefits of dressing up.
You’re gearing up for the tournament in Orlando. What’s a day in the life of Liam Fraser right now?
We have to be at the training grounds around 9am. Right when we get there we do the test for the virus. And then from there we get physically prepared, and start training around 10:15. Then gym work, or a massage. I’m usually leaving around 2pm. After that it’s whatever you want to do. For me I’m in school right now — taking Business Statistics at Ryerson, which is a hard course, to be fair. So I get home and do a little work, and drink a lot of coffee.
Why did you decide to pursue business school?
I’m really interested in it. I’m putting all these credits together towards getting my degree. The whole point is to use the connections I make in football one day, and hopefully they coincide with something I can do in the future and put my business degree to use. Right now I’m doing it part time. It’s hard. Sometimes I hate it. But I know it’s for the right reasons.
How did you first get into soccer?
I first got into it through my dad. He was a player, and he kind of showed me the ropes and taught me what I know about the game. I don’t think there was a point when I knew it was something I wanted to pursue — I think that was always in me. I’d watch games with my dad in the morning and you could see these players playing under bright lights with all these fans there and I just got excited. And I fell in love with it.
Growing up in Toronto and Vancouver, who were the sports heroes of your childhood?
It was always football players. There were a couple of players from my favourite team, Manchester United. Paul Scholes was my favourite. I loved watching him play. I still love watching his highlight reels.
What do you think is the future of the game in Canada?
I think TFC plays a big part in Ontario and Toronto’s footballing scene. But I think our national team — our young, hungry, passionate national team — is the main reason for the huge growth in soccer. I think we had a couple of really influential wins over the last year, and that’s a big reason why we’re moving forward at such a rapid rate, and why a lot of eyes are on us right now. We have young players like Alphonso Davies and Jonathan David stepping up and showing themselves on a world footballing stage.
What do you think it will take for our national team to get to the top tier of world soccer? Will we be there by 2026 when the World Cup is here?
I would say we HAVE to be there. That’s the minimum. Our main focus right now is to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, and I think we have the team and the players and the coaching staff to do it. I think if we can do that, it would put soccer in Canada at an unbelievable level.
You’ve become a role model for a lot of young fans. How do approach that role? What do you tell kids who come out to TFC or national games?
For kids I say, if you really love it play as much as you can. Get outside with your friends and just play, and keep working on your game. Work hard. And also watch football. Watch how other players approach the game and how they prepare and how they compete on the field. But mostly just enjoy it. You don’t want to get pushed or push yourself to a point where it’s not a game anymore. So have fun with it and work hard.
Who were some of your own role models on your way up?
I think my dad was a huge part in crafting me, not just as a footballer but as a person. At TFC there have been players who’ve taken me under their wing and helped me a lot. Jonathan Osorio has been huge for that. And Ashtone Morgan, who’s on a different team now, but he was a huge influence. I credit them a lot for how I conduct myself.
What was the best advice you’ve ever been given?
If I’m honest, it’s: if you work hard and put everything into your craft, if you control only what you can control and put that out into the universe, then good things will happen. I truly believe that.
How do you navigate social media?
I don’t want to say I’m not concerned about what people think about me, but I’m definitely posting what I believe in and what I like. I like fashion, I like music, I love Toronto. And I love football more than anything.
Speaking of fashion, how would you describe your personal style?
I don’t really follow trends. I’m cool with doing what I do. I wear a lot of T-shirts, really keep it simple. And suits when I’m with the team. I like to do a lot of shopping in Toronto — there’s some of the best shopping in the world here.
Who are your style icons?
A guy like Hector Bellerin who plays for Arsenal. Not that I would ever do what he does, but he has a style and he’s not afraid to wear what he does. Also I think David Beckham, obviously. He’s done an unbelievable job of marketing himself. These guys dress how they want to and are able to make a statement, which I think is pretty cool.
You look great in Hugo Boss, which you wear often. What do you like about the brand?
I like that they have a range between really professional stuff and also casual clothes. It’s an opportunity to dress up and look great but still be casual. There’s an outfit for every event. And I can really represent myself in the clothes, and show my own style.
What are some goals that you have?
For the next five or ten years I’d love to make both of those World Cups: 2022 and 2026. I’d love to be a starter there. On a club level, I’d love to play in Europe. And I’d love to qualify for the Olympics with the national team. For the rest of my career, I’d love to make myself one of the best Canadian players that the country has ever produced. I think if I work hard enough and stay humble, keep myself on the right path, I can do it. It’s just going to take a lot of hard work. And obviously we’ll see what happens.
Liam Fraser is as elegant off the field as he is on it. Whether dressed up in a pre-game suit or kicking back in track pants, the man knows how to dressed. Here, we break down some of the latest Hugo Boss pieces that really showcase his sense of style. Put these together and you’re sure to score big.