19 02 2010

What’s the strangest thing a fan has done to express appreciation? The strangest way a fan has expressed appreciation was asking me to sign their private areas… or taking a picture with me and telling me they’re going to send them out as their wedding invites.

Do you think the MLS should go to PK’s instead of draws? No, I don’t think the MLS should go straight to PKs. I think the MLS should do everything in its power to stay true to the game and play it how the rest of the world plays the game.

What is the best training drill you have done for improving your keeper skills? By far the best drill for anyone just starting or even experienced keepers, is to improve their footwork. I still to this day, here with the National Team or with RSL, do footwork everyday as well as any kind of handling. The more you catch the ball, the more you’ll feel comfortable with it. 

How Is “The Grounds” coming along? The Grounds is coming along. It’s taking longer than excepted but we don’t want to rush into anything. There’s a lot of details that we have to make sure are right before we really pull the trigger. Obviously, we want to make perfect training “Grounds” to play at, but also where kids have a great experience and want to come back. Plus, we’ve been kind of busy the last couple of months…

If I wear a Lakers jersey to the game, can I have your gloves too? Of course you’ll get my gloves if you wear a Lakers jersey to the game. I’ll have to see you, so you better represent it!

When are we going to another Harper concert? Whenever you see Ben is playing in the states and I’m free. Let’s go. I’ll take care of it.

How hard will it be for RSL to hold on to you, Kyle, and Robbie when your contracts are up and your stock is really high? I think all of us would love the stay in SLC for a while, if not forever. I personally really LOVE it here, but there are a lot of things to take in account. Contracts up or not, you want to be at a place that respects you, you’re happy playing for, and that rewards you for the things you do. Obviously, we brought a CUP back to SLC and I can say that all of us had a great deal to do with it, but at the same time, we ALL can be better during the reg-season. We have a CBA agreement that gives the players access to see what other players make around the league so that weighs a bit too. When you see someone in your position that hasn’t done half of what you done and isn’t as important to their club but still getting paid, that rings a bell. If you continue to grow and make things happen for your club, you get rewarded… that’s all we would want. At the end of the day, I think the 3 of us are very crucial to Real, but so is everyone else that plays a role on our team. We won the CUP because the TEAM was the STAR, and that really goes a long way. It still would be nice to WIN a couple more CUPS together. 

What are your feelings on RSL bringing in a DP? And if they did, what player would you like to see them sign? I think the DP position is something that needs to take lots of thought on. The DP is usually a high class player that comes from abroad, so you can’t just go get any name. You have to get someone who WANTS to be here and obviously needs to help the club in BIG ways… ON and OFF the field. If I were to choose a DP, I think it would be someone who can score goals at will… maybe someone like Raul, Del Piero, Rudd Van Nistelrooy, or even Donovan.

Loved the look on Donovan’s face when he missed the PK in the final. What was going through your head when he was ready to take the PK, and what did you think after he missed it? When Landon steps up, obviously there are some nerves because of the caliber of player he is, as well as PK’s he’s stuck before. At the same time, I have to be confident going up there and not to show any weakness. No, I don’t treat him any different. He’s like any other player going up to the penalty spot trying to put the ball in the back of the net. I know in the back of my mind that he’s made plenty of spot kicks in his life and been in much more pressure situations, so I just try to be calm and go with my instincts. I was relieved we he missed it! You could see my excitement after it went over the crossbar.  99% of the time he makes those shots. It’s that 1% that really helped us out.

Have you considered mentoring kids in competitive soccer? Kind of a big brother/one-on-one coaching mini-sessions… I think a lot of players on our team mentor kids on their time off. I know off hand that Kyle, Wingert, Tino, Reynish, and myself all train kids on our off-time.

If you were stranded on an island, would you rather be stranded with Nat Borchers or Mr. Beckham? I would have to choose Becks since that’s my roommate already and we know how each other work. Plus, it would be too hard to see Nat struggle without sun block.

Have you ever wanted to coach a little kids team? I’ve coach teams before in DC and loved it, but find it hard to fully commit to the little guys/girls since I can never make their games on the weekends. Plus, with kids now and a true believer in family time, it’s tough to juggle different schedules other then RSL and my family. I stick to doing individual trainings that are more on my time giving the kids a more one-on-one experience. 

What do you think your chances are of being called to the USMNT for the World Cup? That’s a tough question. You always believe and hope to make the squad, but the truth is that we come from a country that’s fantastic at the GK position. We have numbers of GK’s abroad and even some in the MLS that are truly great. You try not to think too much about it and just go out and play. Having said that, I think I can play at the international level and will do anything I can to make the team. I would say if there’s a PK World Cup, my chances would be better. LOL.

How did the “Nick Is My Homeboy” slogan get started Nick Is My Homeboy is an idea that came from my friend’s band having the same shirts and the banner that the fans have up at Rio Tinto. I started with 50 shirts to throw out for our last regular season game, just to give my support back to the fans. Then, people started calling the front office and team store to see how they could get their hands on one. There was only one thing to do;) I decided to make RED ones for the final, so if people wanted to represent the shirt they’ll also be wearing RSL colors. It worked out well, because we had seas of RED in Seattle.

Does Jett want to get together and play trains, trucks and dinos with my little guys? Jett is packed with play dates, ever since the final and being on TV, he’s the most famous toddler at his school and everyone wants a piece of him! Hahaha, just kidding! He does have school and lots of cousins in the area, but if a day comes around, he’s a great play buddy.

What helps you to keep everything in perspective? You have every right to be cocky yet you seem so down-to-earth. I think it has to be from the way I was raised. My parents and grandparents always made sure I never took anything for granted and preached to always treat people the way I wanted to be treated. I also think traveling a lot when I was younger and being in different environments taught me how to adapt and be social. I’m also a true believer in that the fans are what drives you. If it weren’t for you guys, we wouldn’t be on the field. I think I’m just a mellow, good guy that respects people who respect me, and being cocky just isn’t me.

Where can I buy your blue jersey…It would be an awesome one to have! Can’t buy those anywhere. Sorry, man. That jersey came from my UCLA peeps and is now hanging up at my house;) Next year when we go to the CUP, I’ll be sure to wear one that’s available to fans.




3 responses

19 02 2010
Behind the Shield » Nick’s Keepin’ Busy

[…] Click here to see what “da man” has to say to “da fans!” […]

19 02 2010
Collette (Letti) Byrd

NIck that was way fun reading about you. I admire you for taking the time to do this blog.

20 02 2010

Your a Lakers fan? Oh come on Nick.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: