Greetings fans from cloudy and cool Los Angeles, CA. No, that was not a type-o. I am writing this weeks blog from my hotel room in LA as we prepare for our game this week against the Galaxy. Or Beckham’s team, as some of you (especially the females) might refer to them as. But all joking aside, the match will be a difficult one as Beckham and Donovan have formed a strong partnership this year and have linked up for plenty of goals so far. With Beckham you know you are always going to have the service and vision that he brings to the game, and Donovan is going to bring the speed, runs off the ball, and work rate. I think that is why those two have gotten off to such a hot start this season because they are great compliments to one another. For me the keys to the game for us are obviously going to be keeping an eye on Beckham and Donovan at all times and avoid committing silly fouls around the box (where Beckham provides great service and finishing). Having said all that though, I think it is just as important that we not pay TOO much attention to those guys that it takes away from what we do well as a team. So it will be a balancing act, but I believe if we keep passing the ball well, defending with urgency, and finish some chances we have a great chance to come back from LA with a good result. More importantly, a chance to win the game!
Now I have looked ahead at our match this week, lets reflect a bit on last weeks match at Toronto. Personally for me, it was GREAT to be back on the field. I would be lieing if said that I didn’t have a few butterflies and nerves before the match started. It was as if it were my rookie year all over again and I was about to make my debut. Yet, after the whistle blew and I got my first few touches on the ball it was like riding a bike. Oh, and about that foul! I have to say that I have committed my fair share of fouls throughout my career, but the one that led to Toronto’s goal I have to say still boggles my mind. I don’t want to say too much in fear of a fine, but I do not believe it was a foul. However, that is soccer and things do not always go your way. Unfortunately for us, that is exactly what happened, as I thought we had controlled play and had the better of possession and chances leading up to their goal. However, we stayed strong and didn’t stray from what we were doing and it eventually paid off with a great free kick from DVB.
And for those wondering what exactly his celebration is after every goal when he kicks his leg straight up in the air…as most of you know DVB is from Holland. In the Austin Powers movie, Goldmember, if you remember Goldmember is from Holland as well. In one particular scene, he kicks his leg over his head to show his flexibility. That is why DVB does that after every goal….I get questions about it from my friends every time he scores wondering what he is doing. So I thought I would share that little tid bit with all of you!
Back to the game….overall it was a good result for us on the road against a hot team (Toronto had won 3 in a row), but at the same time we were a bit disappointed because we felt that we had enough chances where we could have put one away and possibly got all 3 points. It was good to play all 90 mins, although I could have used a sub at about the 75th min mark! I felt pretty good, and overall was pretty pleased with my first game back from injury. There were definitely some things that I could have, and should have done better, but that will come with time and more games. I’m looking forward to building on my performance this week against LA, and I’m especially looking forward to making my home debut next weekend in front of our fans!
Now for your questions:
1. Hey Hunter, hope all is well!, I saw you training on Sunday, was
great to see you!, I was wondering if you had been following the
presidential primaries and whether you supported any candidates. Thanks!
To be honest I do not follow the presidential primaries too closely. Obviously watching the news I will get updated enough to know what is going on and who is in the lead at the moment. Other then that, I couldn’t tell you much else!
2. Hi Hunter, I’ve read that a lot of teams have initiation rituals for
rookies/new players, do you guys have anything like that?
I think that all varies from team to team to be honest. I know with Red Bull during the preseason the rookies had to do some skits and a dance off while the team was in Austria. Unfortunately, I was not with the team for that trip, so I am not sure exactly what all went on and who won.
3. Hello Hunter, what player(s) in MLS do you look forward to playing/
Good question! In this league, you play one another a lot. So you build up some good rivalries and matches between players. Playing outside back, you are marked up 1v1 a lot with one particular player throughout most of the game. So I have definitely had some good battles. I don’t think there is one particular player that sticks out in my mind, but here are a few for you. They all have their different reasons why and are in no particular order:
Khano Smith: tall, lanky, and fast. We have had some good battles
Fred- clever, skillful and quick first step. Tough match up
Arturo Alvarez- Good friend, played against one another growing up
Stuart Holden- another good friend
Francisco Mendoza- small, shifty, and skillful. Tough match up
4. Hunter, it was great to see you included in the Olympic qualifying
squad. It must have been exciting to play with so many fellow young
talented US players. Any good off-field stories/happenings? Do you
keep in touch with any of the guys playing abroad?
It was great to be a part of that team, and to play with a great group of guys. As far as funny off the field stories there were plenty. We are always joking around and giving each other a hard time. No particular moment or story sticks out in my mind, but there have definitely been a lot of good times with that team. As far as keeping touch with the guys playing overseas, I do. Particularly with Charlie Davies. Its tough to keep in touch because of the time difference, but every now and then we will catch one another online at the same time.
5. Hey Hunter, I’ve got a few either/or questions for you! Coffee/Tea?
Grass/Turf? DC United/New England Revolution?(which do you despise
less) TV/Movie? Soccer/Golf? Red Bull/Rockstar Energy Drink? Grilled/
Fried? and finally, Any relation to Morgan?
Coffee in the morning, Sweet Tea with meals, and Hot Tea at night.
Cleary its soccer, but if we are talking about in my off time it is definitely golf!
What is Rock Star?
I am from the south, FRIED!
No relation unfortunately.