Q&A with the Galaxy's Andreas Herzog
Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Andreas Herzog sat down with LAGalaxy.com to answer questions that you, the fans, recently submitted to him.
Question: Mr. Herzog, how is the game play different from MLS and Vienna? Is it faster, more technical, or completely different? -- Joana
Herzog: I played for most of my career in Germany rather than in Austria. However, it's always a difficult task to compare different teams and different leagues. In Germany, there are a lot of very good players, but I have also seen some good players in the United States, both on our team and other MLS teams. In MLS, many players are very strong and athletic, but there are also a lot of players who are technically sound.
Question: What do you miss most about Austria? -- Gabi
Herzog: My family. However, I do not miss them right now because they are here with me in Los Angeles for two weeks visiting. I also have two cats, a dog and a horse back in Austria that I miss as well.
Question: What is the best game you ever played in? -- Jamesey
Herzog: I have played in a lot of good and a lot of bad games, which means I'm a veteran. Probably the most important were two games for the Austrian national team against Sweden during qualifying for the 1998 World Cup. We played the first game in Sweden and earned a 1-0 victory. Then, in the second game in Vienna, we won, 1-0. I scored both goals, we won the group and qualified for the 1998 World Cup in France.
Question: What do you, an immensely talented international player who has played in countless stadiums over the years, think of The Home Depot Center as a legitimate soccer park? -- Michel
Herzog: It is a very nice stadium. The first time I stood on the field it was an amazing feeling and gave me a good first impression. I enjoy playing here in front of the Galaxy's many supporters. I have played in many other quality stadiums throughout Europe, but The Home Depot Center now is one of my favorites because I'm now a part of the Galaxy and the most important thing is to feel comfortable in your home stadium.
Question: How does it feel to play in the Galaxy's midfield, which was owned by the great playmaker CIENFUEGOS!! It is a great responsibility, right?? -- Alexxx
Herzog: I have heard a lot of good things about Mauricio [Cienfuegos], but I did not have the chance to see him in person on the field. However, I have watched a few tapes of him and he was a very skillful player for the Galaxy and MLS.
Question: Andreas Herzog, a lot of people have been telling me that you look like Sasha Victorine. Has anybody told you that you do? I also want to ask you, do you like it here better then your hometown? Nice goal you had in the first week. -- Justin M.
Herzog: No one has told me that I look like Sasha. You are the first.
It is totally different. In Vienna, we do not have an ocean like the Pacific. Los Angeles is also roughly 10 times bigger than Vienna. But, I feel comfortable in either city. They are both great places to live.
Question: Throughout the years of your decorated career, have you been given a nickname? -- Moses
Herzog: A former coach of mine, Otto Rehagel, who coached me with Werder Bremen and Bayern Munich, once said that I could play like Mozart at his best. It was a natural fit because he was an Austrian just like me. As a young man, I was also called the 'White' Ruud Gullit because early in my career I liked to go on long dribbling runs just like him.
Question: What did it take to become a professional? -- Shawn
Herzog: My father was a professional soccer player. For me, I finished my education and then followed my dream of becoming a professional soccer player. I started my career with Rapid Vienna's youth team and then was called to the first team and played my first professional game in 1985.
Question: How well are you doing in the transition from European soccer to MLS/Galaxy style? -- Linda
Herzog: When you are playing with a good team like the Galaxy with good teammates, it is much easier than if your are playing with a bad team.
Question: I would love to play center midfield, what does it take to play that position? -- Rudy
Herzog: You must have good vision and be able to see the entire field. Also, you must be creative and be able to make quick decisions.
Question: What would you consider being a perfect day (going to the beach, partying, etc.)? -- Molly
Herzog: Maybe, when I was 20 years old, I would have said partying would be in my perfect day. But, now I would sleep in, have a good breakfast with my wife and just enjoy the whole day. Maybe go to the beach, but only for two hours because I do not like to stay in the sun for too long.
Question: How quick did you get accustomed to your new teammates and the fact that your first year is Freddy Adu's first year in the MLS? -- Stefan
Herzog: It did not take a long time because I'm playing good players and I'm also able to speak a little English. I have also developed good chemistry with my teammates both on the field and in the locker room.
As for Freddy, I saw him when he played against us for 45 minutes. He made a lot of good moves with the ball and you can see the potential. He is a good young player, but with a year or two more of experience, he could be one of the top players in the league.
Question: Servus Andi! Good to see you back in soccer action. After having seen your team and already playing four games, what do you think how far you can go this season? -- Motte
Herzog: Our goal is to win the league, nothing else.
Question: What Austrian player would you love to add to the team's roster if it was possible? -- Motte
Herzog: Toni Polster, he was the best goal scorer ever in Austria. However, I think it would be a big problem between him and Carlos (Ruiz) because both are leading scorers and neither would let the other take a penalty kick. But, in the end, the competition would push both players to score more goals then in any other season.
Question: What is best to eat on game day? -- Victor
Herzog: Noodles are the best pregame food with a little tomato sauce.
Question: Has Danny Califf taken you out to surf yet? -- Aaron
Herzog: No, I want to do it, but I have heard there are big sharks in the ocean. Maybe for me, it is safer to swim in a pool.
Question: How did it feel to score a deciding goal that helped lead to a Galaxy victory in your first match with the team? -- Chris
Herzog: It was a great feeling to score an important goal in my first game. It was a big boast for my confidence with a new team. It was all great to properly introduce myself to the Galaxy's supporters with a goal to celebrate and a home win in our first game of the season.