GUAYAQUIL, Ecuador - For today's On-Location Presented by Continental Airlines, MetroStars.com caught up with MetroStars first round draft pick Tim Ward for a question and answer session about his first preseason with the MetroStars.
MetroStars.com: Hey Tim, thanks for joining us today for this quick Q and A. First, how do you feel your first preseason is going?
Tim Ward: I feel that my first preseason is going well, but it has been hard to adjust with all the fitness training and hot weather.
MetroStars.com: What are the differences between traveling with a professional club and when you travel with the various youth national teams?
TW: I think things are pretty similar so far, except the professional environment is a lot more intense. The level of play is much faster and much more physical than what I have experienced with the youth national teams.
MetroStars.com: Have there been any veterans who have been particularly helpful to you during the preseason?
TW: Jeff Agoos has helped me a lot this preseason. I've been playing next to him quite a bit, and he has always been trying to help me out and teach me as much as possible.
MetroStars.com: On Monday you celebrated your 18th birthday, did the team do anything for you?
TW: At dinner the team got me some kind of Ecuadorian cake and I also got some much needed Domino's Pizza.
MetroStars.com: What do you like to do during preseason when you are not playing?
TW: I like to relax when were not busy playing and watch the TV show '24' on DVD. There is a group of about 5 of us that watch about 3 episodes daily.
MetroStars.com: You are good friends with Michael Bradley and Eddie Gaven. Did they give you any advice coming into the preseason? If so, what was it?
TW: Both of them pretty much told me the same thing. They both told me to relax and just play simple and play how I normally play.
MetroStars.com: What are your goals for the season, both on the individual and team levels?
TW: My goal for myself is to earn a starting spot on the team and the goal for the team is to win MLS Cup.
MetroStars.com: Tim, thanks for taking the time to chat with us and good luck through the rest of preseason.
TW: Thank you very much.
Notes from training
Training update: The MetroStars spent Wednesday morning making the return trip from Machala to Guayaquil. Upon arrival, they had a few hours to rest and then they hit the training fields for a light practice late in the day.
Game Thursday: The MetroStars second game of their Ecuador trip will be played Thursday in Quevedo against El Deportivo Quevedo at 4 p.m. ET. The trip from the Guayaquil should take the team about two and a half hours, and the "Red and Black" will make the return leg of the trip Thursday.
Ecuadorian quick fact of the day: The Ecuadorian flag has three horizontal stripes which, from the bottom up, are red, blue, and yellow. The yellow stripe is twice as wide as the red and blue ones. The symbolism of the colors is as follows: red stands for the blood shed by the soldiers of the independence battles, blue represents the color of the sea and sky and yellow symbolizes the abundance and fertility of the crops and land.