The outcome of Saturday's game against the Dallas Burn was not what we had anticipated. With a home field advantage you expect to outperform the competition. Unfortunately, we didn't come out to play that day. We started the first half well but we couldn't manage to finish our shots. Then after Eddie Johnson's first goal, we just let the game go. At the end, it was the little things that made the difference.
Hopefully we can recuperate from Saturday's loss and step up our game against San Jose. I think the change of environment will definitely work to our advantage - its always better to play in nice weather. We also tend to play well against the Earthquakes. Last time we played them we scored five goals on them. Who knows, maybe this time we can score six. Even though a couple of our starters won't be at the game, like Eddie Pope and Jonny Walker, I don't foresee that being a major setback. It gives some of the guys who don't get to play a lot an opportunity to play more minutes and contribute to the game. All of these guys are very dedicated and also deserve to start. Zach (Wells) for instance - he works hard and brings a lot of energy to the team. Besides, on Saturday we had our starters at the game and we still lost. I know they will play with a lot of heart, and often that's what wins games.
On to the questions:
Bill Groom from Hamilton, N.J. asked if people recognize me when I'm out in public. Occasionally they do, but it doesn't happen often. Usually they'll ask for my autograph and I'll talk to them for a bit. Bill also asked how my family deals with me traveling all the time. I've been traveling since I was 14 so they're pretty used to it but my mom still tends to leave little notes in my bag that say stuff like "Good luck, honey." Occasionally they'll go to some of the closer away games to watch me play.
Lauren Tweedale asked, "What do you like to do in your spare time when you don't have soccer?" I like to just kick back, relax and catch a movie or two. I also like to read some books and hang out with my family and friends. Lauren and her friend Erica mentioned that they visited my brother's web site and really liked his music. I'll be sure to let him know. He's always trying to get as many fans as possible.
Rona from Colorado asked if it's weird to hang out with guys that are all older than me. At first it was really weird, especially since I was hanging out with soccer idols like Eddie Pope, but after a couple of weeks I was used to it. His second question was, "Since you didn't attend a regular high school, do you hang out with kids your own age when your home?" Unfortunately, since we lost touch, I don't hang out with many kids from my elementary school. However, on Sundays I hang out with people from my church youth group, which is in West Windsor, N.J.
Last time I mentioned the new game my teammates and I came up with. Here's how it's played. One player kicks the ball toward another player. Right before it gets to him, someone yells out another player's name. At that moment, the receiver must kick it into that player's locker. For example, (Ricardo) Clark will kick it to Pope, (Fabian)Taylor will then yell out, "(Jonny)Walker," so Pope has to kick the ball into Walker's locker. We still don't have a name yet, so maybe you guys can write back with some suggestions.
I wanted to apologize about the confusion with my MSG special. To be honest, I don't know what happened myself. I guess they decided not to use my footage after all. Oh well.
After Saturday's San Jose game, I'll be heading to Florida to play in Wednesday's Under-20 national team game. We'll be playing against Brazil so you know that will be an intense and exciting game.
Take care & God bless,