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.
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9 responses

15 03 2010
SoccerLee

Love it! Keep ’em comng Nick. How about Nat next time?

15 03 2010
three11stu

I love all the RSL boys loving 311. We should all get together at this years Unity Tour. 311 and the Offspring. I just got back from Vegas for 311 day. It was awesome!

16 03 2010
Waster

Bringing up Jordan, ouch. All is forgiven since your holding the cup Ned. We’re looking forward to seeing you in San Jose.

16 03 2010
CMcAfee

Great interview Ned and Nick. Keep them coming!

16 03 2010
gwiser1

Nick,
You have some great stuff here. Was wondering if I could re-publish the articles on the new Fan Site that I’m about ready to launch with links back to your blog?

You can see my site at: rlsfanclub.com

Thanks,

Gary

16 03 2010
Nick

I can do Nat for sure. Ill keep em coming, glad you enjoy.

16 03 2010
Behind the Shield » Charlestown Camp Update: Day #12

[…] today by and about one Nick Rimando. First, the netminder extraordinaire turns the spotlight on Ned Grabavoy for a Q & A for the Nick is my Homeboy blog. Then, In this Week turns the tables on Rimando, featuring him for […]

23 05 2010
moorsecensoli

Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

Thumbs up, and keep it going!

Cheers
Christian, VideoChat with Amateur Girls at Home Alone!

29 05 2010
moorsecensoli

Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

Thumbs up, and keep it going!

Cheers
Christian, iwspo.net

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