Richard Mulrooney

Mulrooney hungry for FC Dallas title had the opportunity to sit down with Richard Mulrooney to ask him about why he came to Dallas, his thoughts on Simo Valakari and how hungry he is to bring a championship to FC Dallas. First of all, welcome to Dallas. Second of all, what exactly was the reasoning for you leaving San Jose and coming to FC Dallas?

Richard Mulrooney: "Basically I left San Jose for personal reasons. I wanted to move closer to home (Tennessee) and Dallas was the ideal choice for me. With that being said, I want to thank Dominic Kinnear for granting me that wish. It's something that he didn't have to do, but we had a great relationship both on the field and off the field. I will forever be grateful to him for granting that wish because we were able to relate in a lot of ways off the field last year and he understood what I was going through. It's hard but you have to do what is best for your family and we came to the conclusion that Dallas would be the best fit for me." You join a team and a lineup that includes Simo Valakari at midfielder. What are your thoughts of playing the middle with Simo?

RM: "I'm looking forward to playing with Simo. I've been fortunate enough to play with another great midfielder in Ronnie Ekelund in San Jose. Ronnie and Simo are similar in that they are both smart, position-type of players that read the game well. I had a very good relationship with Ronnie and I am looking to have that same relationship in Dallas with Simo. But it comes back to however Colin wants to fit me in because I'll give it my best. I have to earn my spot with the team and I look forward to the opportunity of playing with Simo and anybody else that is going to be on the field with me." You have been on two championship teams over your career and you have seen this Dallas squad quite a bit as well. With all the moves FC Dallas has made and with the core players that already existed there, what do you think this team can do next year?

RM: "I expect the team to do a lot next year. Back in 2001 when Greg Elliott was with San Jose, we had a major overhaul of bringing in some top players, a great coaching staff and he made some moves in the office that positively impacted things on the field. He seems to be doing the same thing here in Dallas and I am excited to be part of that. In 2001, those moves turned out to be a championship for the team and I see the same path ahead for FC Dallas." If you had to describe your on-field and off-field presence to the Dallas fans, how would you describe it?

RM: "Off the field I am more of a laid back type of character. But when it comes to on the field it's my get away and time to show myself. I am a relentless type of player that has great expectations for myself and anything lower than that I get disappointed in. I don't want that to happen with the fans or with myself and my play." Leaving a team and a city in which you played the past six years, how do you move on and give your new team everything you have?

RM: "It will be a new experience for me. I've been with San Jose for six years and they are the only team that I've ever known. However, at the same time I am going to have to find a way. Dallas has put the faith in me to come in and help lead this team. I am definitely up to this challenge and I'm going to set goals and expectations up for myself that I'm planning on achieving. If I do achieve those I will be pleased with myself, but more importantly Colin and Greg will be pleased with bringing me in." How hungry are you to bring a championship to Dallas and the new stadium in Frisco?

RM: "I think now it's a different type of hunger. I remember before we won that first championship in San Jose, we were a last place team and I'd like to think I had something to do with turning that around. Going into this situation, I see it the same in that Dallas has never won it all before and probably have had the talent to do so but were unlucky in the past. I have that hunger to show the fans that this is going to be a championship team. I want to prove myself on this team and do what we can to win that first championship."

Stay connected: Get access to breaking news, videos, and analysis from North America's best soccer reporters via "This Week in MLS" newsletter or using our FREE mobile app.