Most players step to the microphone after being taken in the MLS SuperDraft and start thanking everyone they can: God, family, friends, coaches, the club who just plucked them from the board.
Zeiko Lewis cracked wise about having strict parents and threw shade at the clubs who passed him over, and he was just getting started. The Bermudan international, taken out of Boston College with the 17th overall pick by the New York Red Bulls, had plenty to say to reporters after leaving the podium as well.
Here's Lewis on not being taken higher in the draft:
"I didn’t feel dissed by any club that didn’t pick me. I’m not gonna lose sleep over it at the end of the day. But it’s definitely encouraging for me to see other clubs pass up on me, because then when I play them, they’re gonna look at the scoreboard, and they’ll know they made the wrong decision."
Here's Lewis on 2016 MLS Rookie of the Year Jack Harrison, a former Berkshire School teammate now with rival New York City FC:
"I’m going to have to embarrass him on the field and show him who’s the real New York team."
And here's Lewis on his journey from his tiny island home to MLS:
"Yeah, I mean, there’s definitely some instances where you could say it’s a Cinderella story. Can’t say that my story is as hard as some other people’s. Other people have their own struggles and I have my own struggles. But in my opinion, from my island, places that I’ve been, it’s a Cinderella story. Not many people can say they’ve made it to this point in their life and done the things that I’ve done."
But now, here's Lewis making a sudden and yet equally candid turn back to the standard litany of thanks:
"I’m glad for the opportunities I’ve been given, and the chances I’ve been given, and now I’m here to make a difference."
Ultimately, all the great quotes that come out of his mouth notwithstanding, Lewis will be expected to make a difference on the pitch. And in the Red Bulls, the 21-year-old thinks he has landed with a club that offers him a solid chance to do just that.
"They like to play quick," he said. "They don’t like to defend. As soon as we lose the ball, we try to get it back as quickly as fast as you can. I hate defending as much as the next person; I want to attack and score goals, and do whatever I can to keep the game going as fast as I can. I feel that that fits in their system really well, and apparently they feel the same way. So I’m looking forward to how it pans out in the season."
The 5-foot-7 Lewis is most comfortable playing outside, but said he'll line up wherever the Red Bulls want to use him.
"No matter what position I’m put in, I’m gonna give my all," he said. "They said they liked me on the wing; I like to play out there. If they need me in the middle, I’m gonna give my all and just do whatever I can for the team."
Several times on Friday, Lewis referred back to where he started to where he is now – from an island of 65,000 people to a city where stadiums hold more than that.
"Not many people leave the island too often," he said. "Everybody wants to go to England. Obviously I wanted to go to England too. At the same time, America was a very good opportunity for me. I took my opportunity as it came, I’m here now and the Red Bulls have selected me."