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Leg 1
11/23 5:00pm
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11/30 9:00pm
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11/23 1:30pm
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11/29 3:00pm
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Eastern Conference Championship

Curtin call: You asked for it

Jim Curtin, a native of Oreland, Pa., is in his fourth season as a defender with the Chicago Fire. Throughout the season, he will check-in with Chicago-Fire.com on a variety of topics ... including soccer.

The following is a list of some selected questions after last week's Curtin Call. They came from people all over the country, and I eliminated the ones asking for guys' phone numbers on the team and what clubs we hang out at. And for the girl from Mississippi who loves Kelly Gray, I told him, and he loves you too. Surprisingly, a lot of people agreed with last week's random thoughts. People really do eat at Arby's.

"What is your favorite team from Europe? Have you ever been on the U.S. national team?"

-- Matthew L.

I enjoy watching the English Premier League most. One of my college coaches was a big Aston Villa supporter, so I've followed the team closely and they had a great season this year. As far as the U.S. team, I've never played in a full team game, but I was called into two camps this past offseason before my wedding. It was a great experience.

"What is the defense doing to help Henry Ring?"

-- quamreen@sbcglobal.net

The first couple of games we just tried to allow as few chances as possible to make him comfortable. Now that he has his confidence he is doing it on his own, and he's had a great season so far.

"Since 2001, you have played more games every year. Last year you started all of them. How does it feel when Coach [Dave] Sarachan shows trust in you but you make a mistake? Do you get nervous, or do you try and make up for your mistake?"

-- 12 year-old peter13@mail.com

That is the most in-depth question I've gotten, and from a 12-year-old. Well done, Peter! When a coach shows trust in you, that is the ultimate respect a player can have. When there is trust, confidence comes easier. As a player, you play for the respect of your teammates, coaches, and others in the league. Mistakes come often for everyone during the course of 90 minutes. It is how you recover from mistakes that make good players great players. You're only as good as your next play. As far as nerves go, I get ridiculously nervous before each game. I think it is a good thing for me because it keeps me focused and concentrating the entire game. Good question.

"Who brings the juice boxes and treats for Freddy Adu after a game?"

-- Leonard Bergania

I'm going to steer clear of that one out of respect and fear of what [D.C. United head coach] Peter Nowak might do to me.

"There are rumors you were invited to join the elusive and elite 'Mike Ditka Street Crew' and incriminating photos support the said rumors. Would you care to comment?"

-- Ben Kumming

While I'm not exactly sure what membership entails, if it includes half of what goes on in Section 8 before, during, and after a Fire game, I am in.

"Where do you get Tastykakes in Chicago?" (these are a style of Philly fattening foods)
-- Tom Servo

I actually have gotten them mailed out here from friends. They say there is a Tastykake web site that delivers them to your door, and sure enough they came.

Thanks for your time, and get ready for the less serious side next week in Curtin Call.

Jim Curtin

Have a question for Jim?

Send him an e-mail at Jimcurtin5@hotmail.com.


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