Jaymi Bailey began his life as a standout, and so far he's continued that trend through his time as a soccer player.
His parents named him Jaymison when he arrived in 1976. Why the unconventional spelling? "I think my parents were bored, I'll just put it like that," the Tampa, Fla., native said with a grin.
His play in midfield has certainly been anything but boring for the Nashville Metros since he joined the team for the 2001 season. His four assists lead the A-League in that category, and he scored a goal in Nashville's 3-1 win over the Atlanta Silverbacks May 19.
What's the secret to his apparently quick adjustment to the Metros after two seasons with the Hampton Roads Mariners? Experience and work ethic seem the most likely answers.
"I think that being in my third season in the A League has a lot to do with that. I think I can play at this level much better than when I was a rookie," Bailey said. "It also helps having a great coach who keeps us all on our toes.
"We've got a young team with a lot of rookies, but some days you just can't tell that. We work well together and we've largely gelled as a team. As a whole the work rate on this team is the best of any team I've ever had experience with.