WHO WAS RSL’S MVP FROM THE SAN JOSE MATCH

29 03 2010
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INTERVIEW WITH K-DOG

25 03 2010

This is an interview I conducted with our Kit Manager, Kevin Harter.

How’d you get your name “K-DOG”? IT WAS GIVEN TO ME IN 1996 FROM ALL THE PLAYERS WITH THE DALLAS BURN. IT HAS STUCK WITH ME THROUGH THE YEARS.

You have a Dallas Burn tattoo on your leg, Can you tell the fans about your most resent tattoo? I GOT THE MLS CUP (TROPHY W/RSL LOGO IN THE MIDDLE) TATTED ON MY RIGHT SIDE.  I MADE SURE THERE WAS A STAR ON TOP OF THE CUP!

How’d you spend your MLS Cup bonus? ASK MY WIFE, SHE HAS IT!  NO, NOT REALLY, WE USED IT TO GO ON A CRUISE.

What does it take to be the Kit Man for RSL? PASSION AND SACRIFICE.  BUT HONESTLY, I THINK YOU SHOULD ASK THE PLAYERS THAT QUESTION.

Who goes through the most jerseys on the team? WHO DOESNT? SHOULD BE THE ACTUAL QUESTION! BUT THE MOST WOULD BE:  MORALES, NUMBER ONE…RIMANDO, NUMBER TWO…AND WILLIAMS, NUMBER THREE.

Who’s socks smell the worst? AT THE END OF THE DAY, THEY ALL SMELL BAD.

After work where can we find you? EITHER ON THE TREADMILL OR AT HOME.

Any favorite restaurants in SLC? SUBWAY

3 things people don’t know about you? ONE, I’M A DADDY….TWO, I ENJOY COLLECTING  AUTOGRAPHS… AND THREE, I HAVE BOTH AN IRANIAN AND AMERICAN CITIZENSHIP.

What do you miss most about Dallas? MY WIFE, MY DAUGHTER, AND THE WEATHER!

What can someone bribe you with besides cash? A CHECK OR CREDIT CARD!

How did you get started in being a kit man? I HAD BEEN PLAYING SOCCER ALL MY LIFE AND JUST WANTED TO STAY INVOLVED IN IT.

How has being the kit man changed your daily life? I’M ALWAYS WORKING AND ALWAYS ON A SCHEDULE.

How many hours do you spend at the stadium a day? AT LEAST 12

What is the best and worst thing about your job? THE BEST THING IS WINNING, THE WORST THING IS BEING AWAY FROM FAMILY.

What memory stands out the most in being a kit man? AFTER BEING IN THE LEAGUE FOR OVER 12 YEARS, WINNING THE MLS CUP WITH MY BOYS!





HOW TO MAKE IT IN AMERICA

18 03 2010

So, when you’re on the road a lot and hotels become your new home, there’s very little to do.

To us soccer players, three things usually keep us happy… that’s playing video games, geeking out on the computer, or watching T.V.

This year, I found myself on the computer a lot messing around on my blog, looking for cars, checking out the latest fashion, writing emails, and ichatting with my family. Once that got old, all eyes turned to the TV. I’m a avid watcher of 24, Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, ESPN, MTV, and lately, HOW TO MAKE IT IN AMERICA on HBO. It’s such a cool show that brings a lot together… fashion, art, skateboarding, New York, tons of beautiful people, and a cool cast such as Kid Cudi, Eddie Kaye Thomas a.k.a. Paul FInch, Lake Bell, and Shannyn Sossamon.

Follow Ben (played by Bryan Greenberg) and Cam (played by Victor Rasuk)  on their adventures through NY that will sure to make you laugh. The title says it all… young dudes trying to hustle their way to the top by using their street knowledge and connections.  Their way… DENIM, one of my guilty pleasures. 😉

Check it out Sundays at 10pm on HBO.





25 THINGS YOU DON’T KNOW ABOUT ME

17 03 2010

1. I was a huge 90210 and OC fan.
2. My first car was a 1990 Honda Civic.
3. I broke my arm when I was younger jumping out of a tree because my brother told me I could fly.
4. I’m very particular about cutting my yard.
5. I have an obsession with shoes.
6. Love Mexican food and can cook up some mean enchiladas.
7. I like to dip my toast in my oatmeal.
8. I think McDonald’s has the best french fries.
9. I have 1 older brother.
10. I wish I could play the guitar.
11. I can’t stand hot, spicy foods.
12. My first MLS Cup experience was getting snuck in by being the medical guys that caring to players off the field.  Great field seats.
13. I have a secret love for pop music – Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, O-Town
14. I played high school football and was pretty good;)
15. My first concert was the Back Street Boys
16. I hate driving over bridges.
17. I’m a very organized person.
18. I’m a great slow dancer.
19. I can count to 1 million.
20. Beckerman and I lived together during our first professional year in Miami.
21. I love to read gossip magazines when I travel.
22. I don’t speak Spanish but wish I did.
23. Bocanegra played on my club team.
24. I can drive one-handed.
25. I’m a geek about all APPLE products.





IN UTAH THIS WEEK INTERVIEW

16 03 2010

Hey guys, I thought that I would post an interview that just went up on In Utah This Week’s website… check it out.

Why did you choose soccer as your game? When I was younger, my parents threw me into all kinds of sports, but it was soccer that I really felt a connection with. Even after high school I got the chance to play football in college but knew soccer was the path I wanted to take. I love the whole concept of being on a team and working for each other. I love the hard work it takes to be on the field, the feeling of winning, and seeing the expressions on home and away fans faces when we win. I like to compete and I like a challenge … soccer gives me that.

What do you like best about being part of Real Salt Lake? Honestly, the whole organization is top notch, from the owners to the fans. It really makes you do whatever it takes to win when you have backing like we do. I’ve played with the most storied team in MLS (DC United) who have lifted a lot of cups, but I wanted to be a part of something new and really put my stamp on being part of the next big thing. To me, the next big thing is REAL.

What do you think it takes to be a great goalkeeper? I think experience and consistency makes a great GK. You learn a lot by being in game-like situations. The more you play, the more confidence you gain as you become more comfortable on the field. I’ve made my share of mistakes in goal and will continue to, but it’s how you respond to the mistakes that eventually will make you a great GK.

You were named MVP, the person most responsible for winning Real Salt Lake’s first professional championship. What impact has that had on you? I get that all the time that I won the cup, but I would be an idiot to really think that. In team sports like soccer, it’s never one guy. It takes the combination of players, commitment, and the belief in the ultimate goal of being crowned MLS Cup champions. We really believed we were the best team on the field against anybody and we showed it. Sure I saved a couple PKs, but big players step up in big games and we had 10 other guys who stepped up. The impact has definitely been good. We’ve been welcomed all over Utah and are now more respected throughout the MLS.

How have you grown in your personal life as a result of your victories on the field? I think being a professional athlete, you come to realize there are a lot of ways to grow off of the field. For me, I have grown as I try to stay humble. It’s easy to get a big head and walk around like your shit doesn’t stink, but I think treating people how I would want to be treated and staying grounded has made me a better person off the field.

What’s your secret to handling the pressure of a big game? I think you put pressure on yourself. I still to this day get nervous before every game, however, pressure is something you learn to play with. I love playing under pressure. I love seizing the moment of victory after a pressure situation. Again, I think it comes down to experience whether you’ve played in finals before, in front of huge crowds, and in do-or-die situations. You come to be more relaxed than the average player.

What’s your daily schedule like? Usually, I wake up with my son around 6:30 a.m., make coffee, figure out breakfast, and play with my kids until I have to depart for training around 8 – 8:30 a.m. We have training from 10 a.m. till around 11:30 or so and then it’s back to the stadium for weights. After that, it’s back home with my wife or out with the guys for lunch. My kids, Jett and Benny, take their naps around noon so that’s when Jacqui and I can talk, chill out, watch one of our hundreds of recorded reality TV shows, or nap ourselves. Then it’s down to the park, the cousin’s house, or backyard for playtime. Dinner usually is taken care of by Jacqui or The Dodo takeout. Yummy! Then, I take the kid’s baths, put them to bed, and finish the day on the couch with my feet up and a glass of wine before heading off to bed.

How do you stay in shape in the off-season? During the off-season, I do a lot of cardio work that consists of running, biking, or using the elliptical. I also throw in some plyos and weights when it gets closer to preseason. Our fitness coach does a good job of putting a list together for us to stay in decent shape, which is definitely helpful.

What do you like best about Salt Lake City? I can’t just name one thing I love about SLC because there are tons. There’s Eggs in the City, the mountains, the lakes, The Dodo, Electric Tattoo, all our local friends that have adopted us, the Harvard/Yale hood, Sundance Film Festival, A Bar Named Sue, Rio Tinto Stadium, Beans and Brew, winter, spring, summer, and fall to name a few.

We hear you’re a big music fan; what are some local concerts you’ve enjoyed lately, and why? Yes, I’m a huge music fan. I recently saw AFI and Rancid at In the Venue, and Slightly Stoopid up at Harry O’s. However, I’ve seen a lot of shows here including Jack Johnson, Snoop, Incubus, Ziggy Marley, Blink 182, 311, and Xavier Rudd to name a few. The only bad thing about our job is that we play mostly on weekends, traveling included, and miss a lot of shows and dope festivals around the country.

What are your future plans — where do you go from here? Well, I’d like to finish my career in SLC, but that has to come from Real Salt Lake. This is home to me and my family, so if I continue to perform and bring trophies to SLC, I expect to be here. With the new CBA, we might be able to move wherever we want after our contracts are up, so I really hope RSL step up to the plate.





INTERVIEW WITH NED GRABAVOY

15 03 2010

You are the only 3-time winner of the Carolina Cup. How’s that feel going into this year’s CUP?

I’m actually only a two-time winner, but I won them back to back with San Jose in 2008, and obviously Real last year. When the Earthquakes decided not to return in 2009, I told them that I wanted to play for Salt Lake to defend the Cup. Haha…that’s not really how it worked, but I must say I’m very happy that I’m here now defending this pre-season tournament with Real Salt Lake. I am officially going for the 3-peat this year… so please keep the ball out of our net, Nicky.

How’d your offseason go?

My offseason was great. My wife Monica and I made it back to Chicago to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas with our family and friends. We also attended my good buddy Alan Gordon’s wedding in Maui, which was so much fun. Got to spend a week in the Bahamas with Monica and my in-laws, which was probably the highlight of my time off. It was good to get away from soccer after a long year, and especially mixing in some sun and fun.

How did you celebrate your 2009 MLS CUP?

I think you know how I celebrated the 2009 MLS Cup championship. We had a great party in Seattle with management, coaches, the team, and most importantly the fans. The support our fans showed during that week in Seattle was amazing. It was great getting to go back home the following week for the holidays and get to celebrate with my family and friends as well.

How’d this championship compare to yours with the LA Galaxy?

This championship was very similar but very different to the one I won with the Galaxy in 2005. Both teams were the 8 seed, which is the lowest going into the MLS Playoffs. Both teams went on an unbelievable run, and were underdogs throughout the playoffs. This championship with Real Salt Lake is so special, because it got me back to that natural high, and helped remind me of why I work so hard everyday through every season to try and win championships. I’ll remember both teams and the unbelievable seasons we had. I also have a nice ring to wear on each hand as well. I think you know how that feels as well, Nicky.

What are you expectations and goals for 2010?

My expectations for this team are very high. I said it last year when we qualified for the playoffs that nobody in this league wanted to play us because I thought up and down we were the best team. However, we need to be consistent this year. We obviously need to find ways to win and pick up points on the road as well. Our obvious goal is another championship, but we will be defending it this year which will be very tough. We have a target on our backs, and we’re going to take everyone’s best shot. For myself, I want to be a regular starter every single game. I’m confident that if I work hard and do all the little things I can help this team in a bigger way this year. I haven’t been this excited to start a season collectively and individually since I’ve been in this league. So hopefully it’ll be another great year.

You have some of the best hair on the team.  Any advise on how to maintain your beautiful locks?

To be honest, I think my hair just has some natural beauty. Good volume, good texture. Biggest thing is conditioning it. Which is why I have been lobbying a full year for some conditioner in the locker room. Not a 2 in 1.…that does nothing. But I don’t really do anything to it, just wash it, and let it do its thing.

Your one of the gamers on the team, whats your system of choice PS3 or Xbox?

Xbox without a question. The Wii follows that. And I’m definitely not one of the best gamers on the team. Have you seen how good some of these nerds are?! Hahaha.

Have you come up with a solution to play Guitar Hero with out waking up your wife? I felt really bad that day...

There is no solution. Let’s be honest though… The wood floors in my house are a bit creeky, so even if we weren’t playing late at night and just hanging out upstairs she would hear us downstairs. Also, she told me the next day that it was the foot pedal on the drum set that she could hear stomping down on the floor. You were the drummer, I was the strummer…right. Maybe you should make a call to Monica and apologize for your poor performance that night. You also know that Monica wants me to be great at video games even if it messes with her sleep pattern. So she wasn’t that upset.

Your a huge Chicago sports fan, why is Chicago so big into their sports?

Chicago is the greatest sports town in the world…Period. I will give Salt Lake City the nod if we are only talking about soccer fans, cause we do have the best fans in the league. Chicago is a blue collar city. The people who live there believe in working hard, and giving it your all in whatever you do. We support our teams no matter how they do which is important. There will be up and down times (Cubs seem to be down all the time) but it makes us appreciate the good times even more. Great athletes like Michael Jordan and Walter Payton represented what the City of Chicago is all about. I’m sure there are some Jazz fans that remember that guy Jordan, right? At the end of the day all we want is championships.

How’d it feel to go back home and nail the final penalty shot against your home team?

It felt great getting that opportunity to step up and send our team to the final. In front of my family and friends, in the city I learned how to play this game. I still can’t believe that it played out that way… that’s why our playoff run just seemed like destiny. That is a moment I will remember forever, and every time I think about it I smile. Geez… can you imagine how this question would have been answered if I missed?

Where can we find you playing with your 2 dogs? any favorite spots in SLC?

My wife Monica and my 2 dogs are my best friends in the world. I apologize to all my family members and close friends now, but that’s just how it is. What’s great is that all those little furballs wanna do is make me happy. I will say that they do have the best real estate in our king bed…they always get their spot…always. We take them to the big Sugar House Park, or for walks around the neighborhood… Or we take them over to your place so Jett can chase them around, and they can shit all over your yard.

Who are you excited to see in this years World Cup?

I want to see Mr. Beckerman and Mr. Findley. I hope Bob does as well. I love the World Cup as all true soccer fans do. Honestly, all the games are great because anything can happen.

Which Country do you think is gonna take it all?

My first thought is that Spain is the favorite. But thinking about it more, I like Brazil and Argentina from South America, and also Italy from Europe. If the Italians are on defensively they are tough to break down, and they get under your skin quickly. Hopefully the U.S. can advance and make a run.

Your a huge fan of music, see any good shows lately?

I do love music. Haven’t been to a show probably since Pearl Jam last Fall…and 311 last summer. It’s tough sometimes with our schedule…but if you keep getting me tickets we will see a lot more.

Who haven’t you seen play live that you cant wait to see?

I want to see so many bands live I haven’t seen. I love old rock, so Pink Floyd, Led Zepplin, The Who, and a bunch of others that I probably never will cause they are so old. I really really want to see Smashing Pumpkins. Them and Pearl Jam are the last two great rock bands in my opinion. I’d like to go to Europe and maybe see a couple of shows on a longer trip. I think that would be pretty sick. My bad… Red Hot Chili Peppers are also one of the last great bands.

What are your game day rituals?
I’m the laziest human on the face of the Earth on game days. I don’t want to talk to anyone… don’t want to do anything… just lay in bed and sleep or watch TV.

We’ve had some offseason moves, how are the new guys fitting in?
New guys are fitting in great. We have a great locker room and team chemistry at this club so it’s easy. Hopefully they help us a great amount in defending the Cup.

What are you favorite TV shows?

Favorite TV shows… The Simpsons, Family Guy, Lost, all sports….then there is a long list that Monica and I watch…biggest loser, Bachelor, and a bunch of others. You can’t hold the controller all the time Nicky if you know what I mean.

Favorites in SLC –
PUB – A Ba Named Sue
To eat BREAKFAST, LUNCH, & DINNER – Breakfast spot…eggs in the city….Lunch….any good sandwhich spot….Dinner…Flemings, Paris Bistro, Trio.
Barber – Barber is actually a salon….LANDIS….give them some love…they are good to me there.
Shop – Nick you Monica buys my clothes.

Glad I could answer those questions for you….it was fun…maybe next time I’ll interview you.




NIXON

14 03 2010

Just added this DOPE watch to my collection, thanks to Chad at Nixon.

I’ve always liked big watches and the color black, so when I saw this, I had to have it. This Murdered out 51-30 Chrono is one of many cool products Nixon has to offer. Its Movement is a 6-hand Japanese Quartz with second Subdial Chrono and has a custom 300 meter stainless steal case with hardened mineral crystal. The band is solid stainless steel with a brushed finish.

Check out more at www.nixonnow.com