Q&A with defender Craig Ziadie

MetroStars defender Craig Ziadie is one of the senior members of the 2004 MetroStars squad, having arrived at the MetroStars from D.C. United in a 2001 trade. Since then, the rugged defender has become a regular member of the Jamaican national team.

Ziadie recently found his way back into the Metros lineup after being hampered with injuries most of the 2004 season. MetroStars.com caught up with him to get his thoughts on this year's squad, his play this season and his experience with the Reggae Boyz.

MetroStars.com: You found your way back into the Metros line-up this weekend after being hampered by an injury. How did it feel to get back out there?

Craig Ziadie: It always feels good to come back. It's been a tough six to seven weeks for me. It was just great getting back on the field and trying to get back into game shape.

MetroStars.com: How do you feel about your season so far this year?

CZ: This season has had a lot of ups and downs for me. I've been injured and had stints of playing well and not so well. It's just been frustrating. I haven't had a good stint where I was injury free or playing well so it's just been one of those years.

MetroStars.com: Being one of the senior members of the MetroStars, do you find yourself being a leader in the locker room?

CZ: I'm not very vocal in that sense but I try to talk to the younger guys and get them a little bit more confidence in their game. I usually talk to them one on one rather than in large groups.

MetroStars.com: What are your thoughts on the 2004 MetroStars squad?

CZ: I think we are very talented and very young. I think we have don't have a big group of vocal leaders in the locker room, but overall a great group of guys.

MetroStars.com: What is the difference between this year's squad and last year's squad?

CZ: I think we are a lot closer this year. We hang out together a lot more off the field. It's a lot more relaxed this year, also. Last year it was a little tenser everyday at practice and this year it's been a little more relaxed.

MetroStars.com: How has your experience with the Jamaican national team been?

CZ: Unbelievable. I get to travel to different places and play with a bunch of guys who play on different professional teams. It's just been a great experience.

MetroStars.com: The team has four games left in the season, three against Eastern Conference teams. How important are these matches?

CZ: These games are very important. It's a little bit of a taste of what the playoffs could be like. It gives us a chance to come out and show we can beat teams home and on the road so these games will be good tests.

MetroStars.com: Being that this year's squad is so deep, does the competition for playing time motivate you?

CZ: Yeah, definitely. I think it's great for every team. You need competition so the team is not complacent. The guys work harder at practice and it's good because whoever comes off the bench can compete and help the team.

MetroStars.com: How do you prepare before each game? Do you have any superstitions or rituals?

CZ: I really do not have any superstitions. I take a hot shower before every game and I go to Bible study before I come to the locker room, listen to my music and relax.

MetroStars.com: What do you do in you spare time?

CZ: I play video games, watch TV and hang out with some of the guys from the team.