Q&A with defender Chris Albright
Keith, Topanga, Calif.
Chris Albright: There are a lot of skills I have had to work on since changing positions prior to this season. A few of the more important ones are: striking long balls better, improving my 1 v 1 defensive technique and learning to hit crosses from a deeper position on the field.
Q: You've been here for three years, what have you come to love about LA? -- Victor B., Pasadena, Calif.
C.A.: Los Angeles has been good to me since I moved here (prior to the 2002 season). The weather is an obvious plus about living here. That being said, the best thing about living and playing in L.A. is the chance to train and play at The Home Depot Center day in and day out.
Q: Are there any particular rituals/superstitions that you do before each game? -- Amy, Pasadena, Calif.
C.A.: I have no superstitions or pregame rituals.
Q: If you weren't a pro soccer player, what would you be? -- Jessica, Anaheim, Calif.
C.A.: I would want to be a real estate mogul. I have always been interested in real estate and I have noticed that my interest has been growing lately. Maybe I will do that after my playing days are over.
Q: I heard you speak Spanish, very well I might add, on a local Spanish TV station and was wondering, where did you learn to speak Spanish? -- Veronica, San Pedro, Calif.
C.A.: I took Spanish in school from grades seven through my senior year of high school. However, I also learned a lot from Latino teammates I have had throughout my professional career, especially Marco Etcheverry and Jaime Moreno (with D.C. United) and Carlos Ruiz (Galaxy). As you can see, knowing the language has really helped me communicate with some very important teammates since I turned pro.
Q: How many pairs of boots do you go through in a season? -- Karen, Santa Monica, Calif.
C.A.: I go through about 15 pairs of boots in a season, or about two pairs a month. Of course, I use different shoes in training than the ones I use in the game, so they tend to add up.
Q: In all of your worldly travels, where was the most memorable place you have ever played? -- Chris, Philadelphia, Penn.
C.A.: There are two places I have played that are very special for me. The first is Hershey, Penn., where we (the USA) played in qualifying for the 2000 Olympic Games. Not only was my entire family there watching (Albright is a Philadelphia native), but also how well we did (the USA qualified) with a berth in Sydney on the line was awesome. My other favorite was 2000 Olympics. First, there was something extremely special just about playing in the Olympics and representing your country. Second, the crowds were amazing, unlike anything I have ever seen before or since.
Q: When are you going to cut your hair? -- Mitch, Long Beach, Calif.
C.A.: I actually just trimmed it a couple of weeks ago. I have to admit it was getting a bit long (laughs).
Q: Who was your biggest inspiration to play soccer? -- Keke, San Jose, Calif.
C.A.: I don't think there was one person I looked at and said that I wanted to play soccer just like them. There was no league to watch on TV or any American players to idolize when I was younger. Everyone in my family played soccer, it was just something we did, that's how I first got my start in the game.
Q: Is it true you played both soccer and football in high school? -- Dennis, Philadelphia, Penn.
C.A.: Yes, I did play both football and soccer in high school. My senior year, I decided not to play soccer for my high school and play strictly for my club because most of my friends were playing football. I played kicker and wide receiver in football that year instead; I even caught a touchdown pass.