Tag Archive | "Future Focus"

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Future Focus: FC Delco and The Haverford School’s Max Kurtzman

Posted on 17 February 2011 by Breton Bonnette

One of the toughest things as an athlete is to overcome the adversity of a serious injury. It tests an athlete to the core. Will you come back the same? Can you stand that long spell on the sidelines?  US youth international, FC Delco and The Haverford School star Max Kurtzman can tell you first hand what it takes. After a junior season that saw him earn national attention (Top Drawer Soccer’s #1 GK recruit in 2009 and 2010) with FC Delco and Delco Player of the Year for the Haverford School, it was only right that his senior season would be full of more accolades all across the board. Instead a patellar fracture sustained in a collision during play with the Haverford School kept Max out from late September onward. Life went on, of course, and Kurtzman’s resolve and knowledge of the game became huge assets for his high school team as he manned the sideline essentially as a player-coach.  Instead of sulking, he watched from the sideline, supported his teammates, and worked on his own rehab as the months flew by. Flash forward to February 2011 and Kurtzman has committed to the University of Pennsylvania, coached by Rudy Fuller, where he will follow in a long line of impressive goalkeepers several of which went on to careers in professional soccer. He has the resume already to make a splash in University City and once fully healthy, you can expect Kurtzman to be a stronger, more driven, and incredibly hungry player for the Quakers.

ASN Philly put the Future Focus on Max as he continues his rehab and hopes to be ready for the summer of his first year at Penn:

Q: You’ll take your talents to UPenn next year and link up with Coach Rudy Fuller. What is it about Coach Fuller, his approach, and his style of play that made you want to join Penn’s program?

A: Coach Fuller, from day one of the whole recruiting process, has been straight forward and completely honest with me; his honest approach was a major factor with my commitment as I have known where I stand with him since I have starting the recruiting process. Penn’s defense, present and future, is very solid. With that, a major factor for me is their defensive leadership and strength in the program.

Q: Coach Fuller has an impressive crop of new recruits coming in, a class boasting three US youth internationals (including yourself), have you spoken to any of your new fellow classmates? What is it that Coach Fuller expects from his freshmen?

A: I have been in recent contact with not only Agye [Botchway] and Duke [LaCroix], but also a few of the other recruits as well. Coach Fuller expects us to come in and compete as hard as we can for a spot on the field from the start, just like every other player out there.

Q: You’ll follow in the footsteps of several great UPenn goalkeepers in Matt Haefner, Danny Cepero (formerly of the Red Bulls), and Drew Healy, what would you like to accomplish in your first year in University City?

A: I still have a lot to learn about the college game; I want to look up to the three goalies ahead of me and try to gain as much knowledge from them as I am able to. Obviously, I want to compete to get on the field as best I can.

Q: Both of your parents are Wharton graduates. You will also be entering Wharton come the fall. This may be a rhetorical question but was heading to UPenn a forgone conclusion? What is it you like so much about the place?

A: UPenn has always been a part of me, as both of my parents went there, and many family friends as well. The combination of academics, athletics, and social life made my decision very easy for me; on my visits to campus, I was shown a great time by not only the soccer team, but also but other students around campus that I know from either high school, or through mutual friends.

Q: You have endured an incredibly busy last couple years, playing with FC Delco, the Haverford School, and on the youth international level – does the juggling of time ever get old and overwhelming? How supportive and influential have your parents been in all of it?

A: The juggling of soccer, my academics, and social life has never been an easy task. I have been lucky enough to have my parents and friends there by my side to help me if I needed it; my parents show endless support to me in my soccer, and also my other sports, life, and extra curricular activities.

Q: We’ve asked this before to people and never quite received the most in-depth answers but we’re still curious. What is it about FC Delco that makes it one of the country’s premier soccer clubs?

A: The coaching staff. The coaches here at Delco are not just coaches, but they really connect with the players which allows a much closer, tighter knit environment for which to play in. Also, the players here are all very close. I can honestly say that playing with some of my best friends is a lot easier than playing with people I am not as close with, which makes playing with Delco that much easier, and makes our team better.

Q: Your biggest strengths, according to former coaches, is your constant communication with your backline and overall tactical awareness of the game. Would you say they are right? What is it that you are surveying and relaying to the defenders in front of you?

A: I would have to agree with them. Being behind the backline, and entire team, I am able to see the field, and know where the players are supposed to go. If a defender steps up, it only makes sense for the others to fill in the gaps behind or next to that defender. It is also very important to me to have a good relationship with my defenders so communication with them during games is that much easier.

Q: Entering into college, what would you say are the biggest things for you to work on this offseason?

A: I would say that my biggest goal this offseason is to get back into the shape I was in before my injury. I currently weigh about 180 right now; I lost a lot of muscle in my legs from my injury, and I want to get my weight up to around 185-190.

Q: It was a disappointing end of your high school career after suffering a broken patella in a late September game, are you fully healed?

A: I am not yet fully healed; I recently had another surgery to take the pins and wires out of my knee, but I am well on my way to being stronger than I was before my injury. My doctor, Dave Rubenstein, projects that my knee and legs will be stronger than they were before the injury occurred.

Q: What did the rehab and time off from soccer do for you?

A: The time off from soccer and rehab really regenerated my passion for the game, and want to get back on the field. It has been since September 25th since I have been on the field, and it is about time that I am back out there.

Q: You have seen the rise of Zach Pfeffer as the Union’s first ever homegrown player. If offered the opportunity, would that have been an option that you entertained instead of heading to UPenn? Have you spoken with Zach at all about his experiences with the Union so far?

A: That is a very tough one. My gut reaction is to say yes, but though playing professional soccer is the ultimate goal of mine, I feel that my game is not yet ready for that level. and I still have to mature as not only a player, but also a person. Playing college soccer is very important to me because it will allow me more time to get better on the field, and also off the field. I have spoken with Zach many times about his playing with the Union; Zach is a good friend of mine, and he has only great things to say about the Union and his experiences so far.

ASN Philly spoke with Zach about Max and asked for a little scouting report: “As a goalkeeper, Max is fantastic. He’s very, very quick and agile and he also is very comfortable with the ball. He commands his area very well and is a true leader on the field. He also has a great personality which carries over to his play on the field”

Q: With that said, have you been to many Union games? What did you think of the first season?

A: I have been to quite a few Union games; I thought that the coaches and players did a great job so far, and they will only get better as the seasons come.

Quick Kicks

Courtesy: Mainline Media News

Q: Can you pinpoint a favorite soccer moment for you so far?

A: I have to say that playing against Atletico Madrid in Madrid with the U-15 National Team is my favorite soccer moment. Also, playing alongside Zinedine Zidane in the ESP All-Star Game.

Q: Who is the best player in the world right now at your position?

A: Iker Casillas.

Q: Between you and Zackary Steffen, FC Delco has become sort of a goalkeeper factory these days. What can you say about Steffen and his future potential?

A: The bottom line is ‘Steff’ is a phenomenal goalkeeper. His potential is endless; I have no doubt that he will be one of the best goalkeepers that FC Delco has ever had.

Q: Who are some of the rising stars coming out of FC Delco?

A: Zack Steffen, Colin O’Neill

Q: The best advice you have ever been given…

A: Always believe in yourself.

Thanks for the time Max and good luck with your continued rehab and we wish you nothing but the best during your stay at UPenn. We’ll be checking back in!

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Future Focus: A new Penn Quaker, Jonny Dolezal

Posted on 10 March 2010 by Breton Bonnette

Something must be in the water out there in Lower Merion. Between last Future Focus Tolani Ibikunle and our feature today, Jonathan Dolezal, there’s a lot of talent coming out of that area.

Dolezal, central defender by trade, is set to stay in the area to play for Coach Rudy Fuller at the University of Pennsylvania in the Fall. A senior at Lower Merion HS this year and a key part of his club squad, the Lower Merion Velez, the 18-year old has made the most of his four years and he’s earned the accolades to prove it (recently named Pennsylvania’s “State Top Player” at defender). His years of experience don’t mask the truth, however. “One can always get better”. That advice is what Jonny lives by and that’s saying a lot from a soon-to-be college freshman who has traveled to and played in Costa Rica, England, South Africa and Germany all for the possibilities of “getting better”. Now off to University City he goes, firmly with the vision of becoming a solid NCAA defender a future professional and knowing full well that there might be someone extra watching in those stands come gameday. 

Lower Merion Velez

You’ll be staying relatively local this Fall, what made you decide on that? What other schools were after you?

I have always loved Philly and I knew that if I chose Penn, I would be able to experience both the city scene as well as still being close to home. All the schools I was looking at I liked, but the combination of the academics and the soccer at Penn I thought was the best fit for me. Other schools that I was looking at were Boston University, American University, Georgetown University, and Virginia Tech.

There have been several professionals – namely Alex Grendi and Danny Cepero – to come out of UPenn over the past couple years. Is this an aspiration that you find realistic? What is it about the Penn program that attracted you to Rhodes Field?

Penn is a phenomenal academic school and this definitely had a major impact on my decision. Becoming a professional has always been a dream for me, yet I know that if I do not turn professional in soccer that Penn will have prepared me to enter the world with a top-notch education. I felt that Penn was the best fit for me, and I felt very felt comfortable with Coach [Rudy] Fuller and Coach [Robert] Irvine and knew that I would enjoy playing for them in my fours of college.

What would you say were your strengths as a central defender? Weaknesses?

Strengths: Overall tactical defending, communication to others around me, strong in the air both offensively and defensively, good long driven ball, game-fitness
Weaknesses: Physical strength, technical abilities

What are your goals heading into your first year at the University of Pennsylvania and under Rudy Fuller?

I would like to contribute substantially to the program as a freshman and make an impact where Rudy won’t hesitate to put me in the game or start me.

Have you been keeping track of the Philadelphia Union? What are you most excited about in their first year?

I’m most excited to see Danny Mwanga play, as he is a young player who looks to have a ton of promise. I can’t wait to see how he will develop in his first year in the MLS. I am one of the many people who have been dying to have a professional team to root for at home and can’t wait for their season to begin.

You’ve had some pretty amazing experiences between Lower Merion Velez and your high school squad, what would rank at the top?

First off, one of the best decisions of my life was to stay with club soccer rather than play academy because it gave me the opportunity to stay with ODP and go on one of the best soccer trips of my life with Region 1 to South Africa. My club experience helped me develop as a player in order to make region 1 and with my club team I have had some great experiences. With Lower Merion Velez it would have to be tying Chelsea’s youth team at the Disney Showcase or going to Nationals back to back years. For high school it would have to be beating nationally ranked St. Benedict’s with 5 starters missing and scoring in that game or assisting in a miracle goal to send a district playoff game into OT with 1.3 seconds left.

You and Tolani are good friends. All in good fun, are there any friendly wagers on your college soccer careers? You were the one to introduce Tolani to Lower Merion Velez, should you get royalties if he makes it professionally?

Hah. I taught him everything he knows (just kidding). I don’t want to get into any trouble with the NCAA or anything like that by making wagers haha but one of my dreams is to have the opportunity to play with Tolani on a professional team or play against him during my four years of college. I would love to play him in the NCAA tournament especially. And, yes, he will owe me royalties if he makes it professionally (haha). I hope that one day he will make it because I believe he has the talent to do so.

Growing up, what made you decide soccer was the sport you wanted to excel in?

I loved it from day 1. I began playing when I was about 6 years old and have never thought about not playing since. I possessed natural ability that allowed for me to excel and I have always enjoyed it.

How do you think the Union will do in their first year?

I think the Union will probably have a difficult start with so many young and less experienced players. I think that they may have some trouble with the more experienced teams in the league, but they have great potential down the road with so many young studs and a great coach in Peter Nowak.

The Union have recently signed affiliation deals with the Harrisburg City Islanders (USL-2) and Reading United AC (PDL). Have you had any thought about playing with Reading AC in between seasons and using these “levels” as a step towards the pro ranks?

Whatever I do in the offseason are things that I would have to discuss with my coaches. Whatever being the best for me, Reading or the Islanders or sticking with my club team, I’d certainly try to do in the offseason, but for now I have a goal to make it to nationals this summer and hopefully come back with a trophy.

Quick Kicks

Favorite club team?

Chelsea

Best striker you’ve ever had to play against?

Frank Nouble (played for Chelsea Youth at Disney Showcase)

ASN Philly Note: Nouble (18 years-old) now plies his trade for West Ham United, the same club that developed stars Frank Lampard and Kieron Dyer, after spending several years in the Chelsea youth academy (where Jonny got the chance to mark him). He has seen the pitch for the first-team but most recently spend loan time with W.B.A. of the English Championship.  

Best advice you’ve ever been given?

“You can always get better”

Who is the best player in the world at your position right now?

Fabio Cannavaro

World Cup winner?

Spain

Union player you are most excited to see in action?

Danny Mwanga

What are you most looking forward to about living in Philly?

I can come home whenever I want and I can still have my mom do my laundry (haha).

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Future Focus: Lower Merion’s best Tolani Ibikunle

Posted on 21 February 2010 by Breton Bonnette

We started our Future Focus feature with a South Jersey star in Alec Golini and this week we want to head across the bridge to Lower Merion (stomping grounds of Kobe Bryant) to meet St. Joseph Prep’s Tolani Ibikunle.  We had to be pretty brief because Tolani is now in the Rainbow Nation with his club team, Lower Merion Velez. Tolani might not have an All-American award to his name but his presence is certainly known in the Philadelphia metro area. The 17-year old midfielder lit up the high school scene enough that Jay Vidovich and Wake Forest came calling making him part of one of the best recruiting classes of 2010. Playing for the Demon Deacons has been a dream for Tolani since arriving in Lower Merion and though there were ups and downs and undoubtedly some naysayers, he will enter one of the best NCAA soccer programs of the past decade in August.

If you want video proof of Tolani’s skills – check out any of these videos and look for #12. Go here and click on the Disney College Showcase and the first game vs. Beachside. Head to the 6:40 mark and 8:40 mark for a good look at his strengths. Most importantly, keep an eye out for Tolani as he takes that big next step.

Your family has moved around over the years, how has that affected your soccer development?

I’m originally from Montclair, New Jersey and I used to play for the Montclair Blast. When I moved to Lower Merion however, my soccer career really took off. It started when my best friend Jonny brought me to one of his Lower Merion Velez practices. Ever since that day, the level of my game has increased drastically. Various soccer coaches in the Philadelphia area have helped me over the years. My ODP coaches Mike Gorni and Mr. Krantz, my Lower Merion Velez coach Miguel Nuila, my Saint Joseph’s Prep coaches Mr. Murray, Mike Fanning, Coach Blaire, and Mr. Mendez.

Have you been keeping track of the Philadelphia Union?

I have not been keeping close track of the Philadelphia Union, but I look forward to following them when their first season begins.

You are heading off to Wake Forest in the fall, have you spoken much with Coach Vidovich?

I have talked to Coach Vidovich a good amount, and I cannot wait to get down to Wake Forest to play for him.

What does it mean to you to be playing for arguably the best program of the last decade or so?

It is an honor and an accomplishment to be playing for Wake Forest. I saw them playing my freshman year and told my teammates that that’s where I would be playing. Not very many people believed in me but it’s where I’m headed next year so I’m very proud. I am very excited to get to North Carolina and play for them.

What’s it going to take for you to make an impression at Wake Forest? Did you talk to any of the guys currently playing there before making your decision?

It’s going to take a lot of hard work and dedication to make a good impression at Wake Forest. It is going to take a good deal of mental and physical preparation. I talked a bit to older players such as Daniel Wenzel, Ike Opara, and Corbin Bone, before making my decision.

What other schools were after you? What were your reasons for turning them down?

Georgetown, Virginia Tech, UPenn, Brown, and Boston University were all looking for me. I turned them down to play for my dream school, Wake Forest.

Any aspirations to suit up for the Union some day? Or being from Montclair, NJ, do your loyalties lie with the Red Bulls?

It would be great for play for the Philadelphia Union or the New York Red Bulls but ultimately I would love to go professional overseas.

What would
you say your strengths are as a player? And your weaknesses?

My strengths are my speed, my first touch, and my driven balls. My weaknesses include my overall fitness and keeping my composure.

You’ve been busy between St. Joseph’s Prep and Lower Merion Velez, what has been your favorite moment so far?

My favorite moment was making it to Nationals for the second time in a row with the Lower Merion Velez. My favorite moment on the Prep team was my first goal on varsity sophomore year.

What’s your favorite thing about the game of soccer?

My favorite thing about soccer is having fun.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In five years, I see myself playing pro in Europe somewhere.

Quick Kicks

You have a 3 vs. 3 match-up coming up, which two professional players would you pick as your teammates? Why?

I would play with Didier Drogba and Kaka. Didier Drogba is one of my favorite players and Kaka is one of the most amazing players I’ve ever seen play.

The best defender in the world right now (i.e. defender you would least like to go up against?)?

I would have to say that the best defender in the world right now is Carlos Puyol.

Being of Nigerian descent, who is the best Nigerian player at this moment?

Peter Osaze Odemwingie

ASN Philly Note: Odemwingie made his name with Lille of Ligue One and now plays striker for Lokomotiv Moscow of the Russian Premier Division. He played a big part as Nigeria’s only overage player at their silver medal showing at the  2008 Beijing Olympics. Interestingly enough, Odemwingie was actually born in Uzbekistan (then part of the Soviet Union) and opted to play for Nigeria over Russia.

Favorite club team?

Chelsea

Which league suits your style of play right now? Ultimately, would you rather play here or abroad?

I would ultimately rather play abroad, in the La Liga.

Best advice you have ever been given?

The best advice I have ever been given is to have fun.

Thanks for taking the time Tolani and enjoy South Africa! We will add you to our list of future prospects to watch out for and check in later.

If you like the Future Focus feature, check out our first installment with Rancocas Valley’s Alec Golini.

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Future Focus: South Jersey’s own All-American Alec Golini

Posted on 11 February 2010 by Breton Bonnette

If there’s one person that knows the future matters, it’s Coach Piotr Nowak. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have gone out and drafted himself two 18 year olds and a high schooler who has yet to graduate. One thing is certain, though, this country – and more specifically the Philadelphia metro region – is chock full of talent that has yet to be realized, discovered, and/or appreciated. ASN Philly wanted to at least spend some time introducing you, while we have this space to do so, to the talent that graces this area and may or may not go unnoticed.

First on the list is NSCAA High School All-American Alec Golini. A senior from Rancocas Valley Regional High School in Mount Holly, NJ, Golini is yet another product of a brilliant soccer-talent factory led by Head Coach Damon Petras. Consider these names: Byron Carmichael (drafted by the Kansas City Wizards a while back), Ryan Finley (current US U-20s and Duke striker) and add to that a long line of Division I NCAA contributors and you’ve got yourself a hotbed of youth soccer right here in South Jersey. Add to that FC Delco and many other youth clubs and it’s one of the best areas in the nation, hands down. Alec hasn’t seen that national team attention yet but he was one of two NJ All-Americans this season and he took home South Jersey player of the year (an award that generally is indicative of future soccer success!). Golini, clearly with his head on his shoulders, will take his impeccable ball control and vision on the pitch to the Lafayette Leopards next season and hopefully we can get updates of his journey…

There seems to be a real Rancocas Valley prospect machine – with Byron Carmichael, Ryan Finley, Blake Fink, and many others who have made their way out of your area. All have had or will potentially have shots at a professional career – what do you attribute that to?

I have had the opportunity and privilege of playing along side some of the best talent South Jersey has ever seen. Playing with the likes of Stephen Macurdy (Lafayette), Luke Calvano (Lafayette), Blake Fink (Lafayette) and Ryan Finley (Duke) have shaped me into the player I am today. Having played with so many phenomenal players, the bar is set very high for the next person in line so to speak – meaning that each player’s accomplishments are a goal to be broken by the next. This way, each player strives to play at the highest level and the highest rate, challenging them to raise the bar that was set by a preceding player. Attributing to this attitude, the Rancocas Valley Soccer Program is one that is well-known, respected, and dedicated to a winning tradition that demands the most out of its players. Obviously, the system has paid off.

Do you talk to many of the alumni, especially those like Ryan and Blake who are currently playing at Division I schools?

Because I had the opportunity to play with players like Macurdy, Calvano, Fink, and Finley spanning from my freshmen to junior seasons at Rancocas Valley, I’ve become very close to each individual. I am in contact with every single one of them – obviously it is easier for me to catch up with the Lafayette guys being that I constantly visit my future college, but we are all very close. It is great to have that relationship with players who I can look to as role models and models of success that have gone on to play at the next level, Division I soccer.

Who has been the most influential in shaping you as a player?

This one is a tough question for me. That’s because there’s a long list of individuals who have had a great impact on me as a player and a student of the game – I certainly wish I could name them all. But there are two people who really stand out in my mind as having the most influence on who I am as a player. The first is Dennis Ludwig, National All-American at Rutgers University, who was my coach for several years and a very close friend of mine. Dennis truly aided my growth as a player and taught me what I needed to learn about the game, in order to play at the next level, and improve as a player. The second individual, is my dad, Jim Golini. My dad has had the most influence on me as a person and a player out of anyone on any list I may put together – ever since I was young playing U8 until the very last game of my high school career, I can’t remember a day when there wasn’t a discussion of soccer, something I could tweak in my game, or a pregame email, text, or phone call that reminded me of a high level of work rate, consistency, and to play like I’ve got something to prove. And to top it all – out of the hundreds of games I’ve played in my soccer career, there’s rarely been a day when my dad has been absent from the sideline.

The Barons youth system seems to have developed a lot of talent over the past several years as well, what was it like with that experience?

The Barons youth system focuses on a system of tactics, fundamentals, and respect and knowledge of the game. My experience as a Baron really set the mold for who I would be as a player and gave me the tools to really develop into an all around player. The club taught me a style and side of the game that fit me well, and helped me transition and prepare for collegiate soccer.

The Barons have always had a great connection with Reading of the English Championship, can you explain to us what goes into that relationship? Trips, coaching, etc.

One of the greatest things about playing for the Barons over the years was having the affiliation with the Reading Football Club of England. This relationship brought coaches, equipment, and techniques to the Barons organization that truly benefitted the youth academy and its players. I was actually lucky enough to partake on two trips abroad to England sponsored by the Barons. My first trip was a team trip in which we played local clubs of the Reading area, including Reading’s own youth teams. My second trip was an individually focussed trip in which a few players including myself had the privilege of training and practicing with the Reading Football Club Youth Academy for one week. This experience was one I’ll certainly never forget, and was a great part of being in the Baron’s Youth Academy.

What made you choose Lafayette? What other schools were looking at you?

I chose Lafayette because I was extremely comfortable with the atmosphere both academically and athletically, and really liked the coaching staff, the players, and the goals the soccer program wishes to pursue in the coming years. I am really excited about being part of such great tradition and joining a group of players that I’m certain will allow for the best athletic experience. My choice was made easier by the fact that there are three or four players on the roster that had graduated from Rancocas Valley, all of whom I have played with. Other schools I had considered and were looking at me were Villanova, University of Delaware, and University of Massachusetts. In the end, I’m extremely happy with my decision, and I cannot wait to be part of Lafayette’s program.

You were named an NSCAA All-American this season, deservedly so. How does it feel to get that national recognition? And heading into Lafayette, what would you like to accomplish in your first season?

I was extremely honored to have received NSCAA All-American following my senior season at Rancocas Valley. It was a great feeling to know that the time and effort put in to improve my game and be the best player possible, finally paid off. It’s awesome to know that you’ve been recognized as a player for putting in all the work and stepping on the field and being the best player you can be day in and day out. As for Lafayette – I’m really looking forward to being part of a sound tradition and hopefully contributing to the team’s success and bid for a Patriot League title. It would be awesome to win the league in my first season, and knowing I played a part in that would be something special.

Have you been watching the development of the Philadelphia Union so far? What do you think their chances are in their inaugural season?

Yes, I’ve been following the Union and I’m pretty excited about their first season. I’ve heard and read a lot about how high ticket sales are, and that’s very promising for a new team. Hopefully, with all the momentum and hype, they won’t disappoint in their first season. Philadelphia is an atmosphere that demands success, but at the same time, they have passionate fans that are sure to usher in a great era of soccer in Philadelphia.

What would you say your strengths are as a player? Weaknesses?

I feel as though my strengths as a player are my quickness and speed, whether it is speed of play, getting to the ball, or just overall quickness. A couple other strengths would be my aggressiveness, competitiveness and desire to win, my vision of the field, and my knowledge of the game as a leader. Each of those attributes has helped me get to where I want to be today as a player. My weakness: I tend to expect every single player to play at the same level and at the same rate as myself.

Quick Kicks

Best Defender you have gone up against?

My own teammate in both high school and club, Terrell White.

What Major League Soccer player are you most excited to see come and play in Philadelphia?

Fredy Montero

There’s a 3 vs. 3 match coming up and you can pick anyone? Who are your teammates?

Two teammates: Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard

Favorite club team?

Manchester United

Who wins the Premiership this season?

The usual two-horse race: it’s between Manchester United and Chelsea. Hopefuly Man U can pull it out.

Best player in the country at your position? World?

Country: Midfielder Clint Dempsey; World: Center Midfielder Steven Gerrard or Xavi.

Best advice you have ever been given?

“Act like you’ve been there before.” and “Always look for opportunities to do great things.” – My Dad, Jim Golini

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