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Goat Talk
Goat Talk

Episode 11 · 11 months ago

Goat Talk Podcast 011 | Troy Dayak Interview (2 MLS Titles, San Jose Earthquakes, US National Team)

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In episode 011 of Goat Talk, Alonso Frias interviews Troy Dayak, a two time MLS Cup Champion, 2001 MLS Comeback Player of the Year, US National and Olympic Team member, and President of West Coast Soccer Club in Tracy, CA. They discuss club soccer, sending players to college, coaching, his national team experience, playing alongside Landon Donovan at the San Jose Earthquakes, and owning a soccer store, among other topics.

#SanJoseEarthquakes #USMNT #MLS

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Welcome back everybody, this is episode.Eleven of goat talk on your host Alanzoprius and for this week's guestwere joined by Troy Diak. He is a two time, ammaless cub champion and hall ofFamer for the Sanase earthquakes. He also represented the US national andOlympic team, and now he's the president of West Coast, socger clubhere in Stracy, California, Welkay they doing nice to nice to be with youalancho. So the first question I want to ask you is: How has the COVIDpandemic affected your club? Well, I think it's affected everyone insimilar ways. I think it's just. How do you let it impact? You is something that we've done differentlythan most there's. You know, obviously everyone'sdoing zoo meetings and you know Changingto online training. Some peopleare not doing it and others are doing more than others, but for us we feel,like we've been more together than we've ever been before, even thoughwe're not you know seeing each other three four times a week and every everyday you know every Saturday or Sunday have a game for Leagu play. We're stillreally active. We've had team meetings with our parents and our players, so wespent some time you know, instead of being out at practice, fields hat thatwere normally we're. Taking those time frames and Wev put them into tscheduling, parent meetings, where we can actually speak with the parents andtheir players about what the future holds for them and soccer or what levelthey're. Currently at what level. We think that they can get to whatcolleges that they're interested in what are their grades like? What dothey need to get into a college at different levels? NCA, one DND twod,three NCNAIA junior college, eligibility, red shirt and grayshoiting. You know we re just there's just a ton of things, and you knowinstead of moping, about not being able to practice and play. I think thatwe've taken a different energy towards it, and we've we've promoted thingsthat we want to do with our kids hat. We've never ever been able to do, and Ithink it's been a great time for us to kind of innovate and it's something that you're lookingforward to keep doing. Was You guys had that showcase last month in Utah? Isthat something you guys are going to continue to do since it looks like California isn't open tohaving tournaments right now, yeah we were we're, hoping we're holding out to beable to do our regular tournament schedule. Normally during the summermonths were at the biggest tournaments in the country. You Know Serve Cup orsilver legs in Norco, California, and we decided to go ahead and put togethera tournament here in Tracy California, at the new fields in Tracy. There's abrand new fields with lit. You know lighting around each field andit's really Nice Park, so we're going to hold it here, we're going to do a GA,Girl's, Academy, showcase and that was going to be in in October, and then youknow things just kept on get pushdback. We weren't getting any informationabout a month. Prior to that I just off of an instinct. I guess you might call it a natural instinct that called up acompany and also called up a facility in Utah, and I reserved twelve fieldsout in Utah month ago before before the you know, the pandemics started hittingreally hard and people were. You know we didn't know how long it was going tobe. People were thinking we're going to be o back on the field in November. SoI just thought I'd hold that you know as a kind of a lild card in the backpark in case we needed it and then once we yeah once we found out, we weren'tgoing to you know, be able to play on the soccer fields here and in Tracy.WEAD petitioned to try to you know, do a safe environment, covid, safe,friendly environment, without spectators we were even going to closecircuit TV all the game so that everyone coan watch your games from ahome, or you know, hotels for parents or or kids that were traveling ncollege coaches. So we weended up taking it to Utah and had a great event.We had thirty two soccer teams come from California. I think the majority Werfrom California E had a couple from Idaho. We had a couple from UTAH. We had, I think, one from Nevadaand went from Lik Wyoand. So we had, we had a mostly Californias playing out inUtah safely. Everyone was safe and had a great event and I got to breathefresh air because the California smoke ASD Mog, was all over the place andOnow we're back fom. Something also I want to push to isthat I knowit'es a lot of Songer Club here in Fairfild California. They alsosent a you, seventeen boys team out to Arizona last month, so I know there's alot of different club teams here locally, who also trying to push thatsame message yeah. This was a little bit differentbecause we had simultaneously, we ran through our club west coast soccer. Weran a survey and we surveyed all of our GA clubs that were playing andpracticing, and we surveyed each DOC...

...director to go back to their club andfind out how many practices they held and how many you know, gamelike scenarios or practice likescenars whatever, because we have teams are in Washington, summere in Oregon,and we wanted to know where they're at in their return to play procedure.Everyone is at different rate, so we did a survey with all of our ourmembers and we had zero cases of covid transmitted through practices or anytype of you know, activities trainings that we have done we had. I think therewere two cases that were related to like family stuff that werefourth of July or mmorday weekend, but an e Wer, Arantin and ou noweverything's been safe, so we kind of we did that test and that survey andthen we felt comfortable about you know pushing this, and this was the onlytournament and that was California base teams thatwere able to provide a tournment so t the tournament was actually sanctionedby US club soccer and it was actually approved and ensured. So I think rightnow Californiais not allowing anyone to do that. So I think we're a little bit.You know ahead of our time the Avanti of of the the group there and we'rehaving some teams go down to Arizona for Thanksgiving, and you know we'relooking forward to seeing how they you know, handle and set up their activities and games and stuff. Sowe'll see how that goes, and then something I also try to speaka lot about is I also coach, high school soccer and my main thing to istrying to get players to go playin college or even a ten collegeif that,and I seen your interview with Tracy Press, you stated that you were thenumber one through norcal and sending players to college on scholarships. Canyou explain why that's important yeah? That's a great question. You know a lot of times, people think there's just a recruitiingmachine. You know they just have all the best players and snatch and grab anwe've. We've thought a little bit differently.We started our club with only three teams in two thousand and eleven, and we builtour club slowly progressively with I think, a business plan in mine as faras how we want to grow up overgrow too fast. Not You know, take up too manyfields and you know be too like a noisy neighbor.We, I think, constructed a really good plan and we've had the quality coachingto go along with it, and then the players just develope really well we'renot that club hat's going to recruit a ton of players from from thesurrounding area. We started off with three teams now, ten years later, Ithink we're aut twenty two teams, twenty three teams, so that our first recruiting year was intwo THOUSD and thirteen was our first class of commits and we had eleven players, all graduate that wentto college that that year. So all of our players that were seniors that yearwent off to college, and I think that set the standard and kind of blaze, theTrell, the hard work that they put in the commitment that they put in theyh'd wont a national. We won a national championship in that two thousandeleven year, so you know it was really a lot of hardwork. We actually took that team up to Napa and trained at a cabin and APA.You know prenational championship and they went to the national final threetimes in a row, two thousand Leven, two thousand twelve two thousand andthirteen they played in the finals each one of those years. One T in twothousand and eleven was finalist in two thousand and twelve and thirteen, andthat sat a really high standard. So we you know that was one of our oldestteams, an we kind of worked our way backwards, because we had a. We had aWPSL team and our W L team was made up of professionals, and you know farmer,players, college players, and then I started working in some of the youthplayers from our program because e we had a really good team, we had nationalchampions, we had players that were capable of doing great things so thatthat team basically was the forefront and forerunner of our first ever WPSL.I think ever in WPSL history we had every single player in our club wasfrom our club that actually developed wit through our club play it in ourclub with it was a youth member past or current player in our club. So wedidn't have any outside help. I thought that was a really unique thing for usto build off of, and I think people you know saw the hard work of dedication toour own club members and developing our own players. You know- and I think that you know ledto more players, wanted to go to college and plays in that troil. Wehave think we're over a hundred and fifteen players now affter college onscholarship and we just wive five years. I think six years in the row,nornorthern California Highest Club on the girl side, it's been in the intheir reports and stuff for players...

...committing to college so R, proud ofthat- and do you think so you think players should focus more on clubsoccer compared to high school soccer in terms if they want to play incollege? That's another good question: withouthurting some of my high school friends feelings I ad done I've done both Y andthere's, there's good good things and bad things about high school soccer. You know th it's a great socialactivity, specially on the girls side, they really love being a part of theirschool, their school pride, their team pride and representing their their schoolcolors. I think we're where the line gets drawn. Is that there's not very many college coachesare going to go to a high school game and watch right so unless you makeplays and you're playing like at that higher level yeah. How are you going topromote your kids and, to be honest with doing my college coach friends?They they may go. Watch like the final ofthe NCS or you know one of the finals, because they know two high qualityteams or the best two teams are going to play it out in the finals and you'llsee good players, but not all the time do you have in high school you get kindof what you get at your school right, so you have yeah players that maybe outthere just to be there for social aspects and be a part of a team part ofa school program, but might not necessarily be the best players in thearea. So I think college coaches are more geared to go into college,showcases and Theyr. You know they're going to spend most of their time.Looking at the the players at college, showcases that are put on by the clubs and then something else I want to addon to is that a lot of problem with the youth I feel like is the whole drug useand alcohol. You STILF feel like it's preventing them from playing in sports,and I know you hoped implement. One of the programs. Drugs are a drag. So howdo you also see that perspective from that side? Yeah? I just you know everyone'sdifferent. I never used sports performance enhancements or drugs still don't, and I just I'm a bigbeliever in and keeping your body clean, you treated like a temple and it'llserve Yeu back well, so you know we did start a drugs soccersof kick drugs, Oure drag program and we went around to schools and didassemblies. I did this a lot with our professional team that the SanFrancisco Bay Black Hawks many many years ago, and I think we established areally good community out reach program. We went to Imean, we went to everywhere,juior high school, high schools, elementary schools, you know gradeschools and we just did assemblies all summer long and it kept kept a lot ofour players busy durin that that summer break and it kept kept us. You know in contact with thelocal community and it really built great relationships so and it was astrong message, so you have athletes that are believe it in. You know:staying away from bad substances and drugs and abuse and stuff like that,and we did a nice little speech and we did demonstrations. We brought upschool teachers, principales and kids and then we'd hand out some K, owsoccer balls, Mani balls, depending on what we had F for thatthat year. But it was a great great event. I've carried that on. Since youknow retiring, I do a program for schools locally and I'll pick, maybetwo or three a year and I'll do. Do a few during the summer, and maybe duringtheir theyre no drugs campaign week at school, I'll, try to hit up a coupleschools there and offer offor this program. It's been great, that's Grat!That's amazing! Somethang! I also like like to push I've. Also. Never I'venever drank I've, never done any type of substance, and I try to push that tobecause I feel like it's become like normalized and I feel like that alsoprevents your body from reaching that peak, that peak of like being able toperform at a really high level. Well, it's that's a whole nother topic.I mean you know w people will always push what they canpush to the highest limit legally right. So even in Europe, when you go, I didmy master's for soccer. I took my master's course,and it was a part of a two year course, and we went over to England studied atthe University of London and went to Chelsea Liverpool Manchester UnitedTottenham, and we basically did a long study period and there's a lot ofsports performance enhancements that some of these large clubs are kind ofjust cheatering. On the line of you know, is it too much ius? I was. I wasamazed. I had no idea because I never done anything like that, but you know certainly the bad drugs indifferent things. You know we want to make sure that message gets sent out tothe kids, the youth kids, you program when they get to the pro levels. Youknow they have scientists and people...

...that are really running the programsand making sure that they're staying within the guidelines and the law sointeresting, stuff, yeah of course, and then something I want to last talkabout on the clubwise. You think there's too many club teams inCalifornia. I Know California is like one of the most populized states in thecountry, but you still think there's too many club teams. Yes, I think so I mean there's. I just. Ithink that there should be tears of club club teams, that you know whatyou're getting from them and they're they're proven right. So if you have aproven track record, if you have, you know a certain amount of kids that aregoing off to college every single year and you have quality soccer teamsthroughout your age groups, whether it's on the boy side or the girl side,I think that there should be a standardized you know. Metrics wereclub. Tubes can be measured by because a lot of times it's just propaganda andwhat you know people will say without having anything to back it up. Thatgets these kids to go different places and then you're diluting the soccerpool you're diluting the collent. How is our national team going to getbetter and how our high school team s going to get better in Eur top levelclub to is going to get better if we're not really attracting the best playersto go Ito? The Best Teans, with the best coaches Yeahi, talked about withCardinal That about coaching college, to how we notices there's so many like,even so like Fairfield, is so close to vacabol and they have like their ownclub teams to so. It all gets like watered down. There's people who aren'tplaying at a high level playing club and getting these opportunities, butit's not getting like it's not getting any better and they're. There's notthey're, not sending players out to college or they're, not sending playersto that professional level. Well, I can tell you this in my daily routine atthe office since Covid, I try to talk to at least two to three collegecoaches in person every day or you know jest. You know three or four times aweek, so I'm pushing that level. It's not justthe kids going outd say I want to play in college. So I just challenge: What are the thecollege? What are the club coaches doing for their player? They are theyreally promoting them? Are they reaching out to college coaches andsaying hey? I got a perfect person that fits within your program and here's whyyou know you can, if you don't have your evaluations of your players andyou don't know where your players are at whether they're a D on and that'sokay, if they're, not d, One their juior college at able there's a ton ofgreat opportunities for kids to play in junior college man. There's there's somany great junior college programs that have awesome programs with greatcoaches and it's a wonderful pathway. So not every kid's going to play. Doyou want to go Stanford or UNC yeah, so the College, the club coaches, have toknow the difference between those level? What's the difference between a JunorCollege player and a player thats going to UNC or Stanford, the difference isyou know, uncs oned D, Twenty Six national championships and has a coach?That's you know been world Wenoun as far as the national team coach Olympic.You know just you know, creating great players, and then you have you knowjunior colleges that or should be a springboard to help kids. You know getused to playing everyday practicing every day. You know getting theirstudies done being able to manage their lives with with schoolwork schoolloadand soccer or sport load and be able to function properly so that when they dotransfer to a four year school, whether it's a Dndtwo or dthree or Naia, youknow what you're in for there's, not everyone's going to be ready to jumpright from you know: High School to Olic, provlish level, especially D onelevel and speaking about college soccer. You attended USF, is that in your plansin the future, coaching USF they've had a couple bad seasons. Recently theywent oh and seven, and last year in thei conference ever had a positive season since twothousand and seventeen is that something in your future, I don't know,maybe you might have to promote that see what kind of what kind of bud et. I don't know it'sa I wouldn'. I Love Coaching. So for me, I, like this youth level, where I candirect kids and influence them in the right way in a positive manner, sharemy experiences with them like today. Tonight we have, we have a Friday nighthighlights every Friday. All my players from the GA they have to be on ismandatory for a zoom meeting like this. So tonight at five o'clock, we'rewatching UNC play you UVA University of Virginia versus UNC, it's one of thethe top games that you can see right now for collig soccer. If our girls arewanting to play soccer, you need to watch soccer at the highest level, sowe're watching their game live their games at five o'clock and if coachesaren't promoting that to their players and dig indeed to find these things tokeep them active and keep them the spirited they'll burn out. You know a lot of thecolleges they're not able to play right...

...now and they're telling me that theirkids, it's tough, to motivate them to come back and play because they're notsure what they want to do for the rest of their lives. You know, are theygoing to move on now, especially their seniors that have this extra year of eligibility? You know. Are theymotivated enough to come back? That's Ha us. They need to take advantage ofthat extra year of being able to play college fors. That's and I feel, like alot of people also don't know that, like a lot of people are players incollege yeah, it's this is an extra year forthem they miss their year because of the pandemic and they have at a yearextra on their eligibility if they want to go back. But you know, what's callidsoccer going to look like when they come back. That's another thing. Youhave to think ahead, I'm you know for me. I went to college for one yearUniversity of San Francisco. I played callis soccer, I enjoyed I enjoyed it,but the pros came after me early. They came after me and said: Hey. We wantyou to come out of college and we want you to play professionally and I wasseventeen years old. So Wha. What do you do at that stage when the pros arecalling you do you make he decision? So I was the first player in the history that had a a collegetrust fund setup. So I had a five year contract to play for San Francisco Bayblock hawks as a seventeen year old to come out of college, which I had ascholarship. You know free full ride to Youuniversity of San Francisco and nowI'm going to come out of college, but my dad said I want you to be able tohave your education. So what? What are we going to do about that? So we workedinto the contract that there was a untouchable college. Education FundTrust Fun, set up that if I wanted to go back to college and use that fundsthat I would normally need to be able to play and call her go to college thatthat would be there so later down the road. That's what I used to get mymasters. I use that College Trust Fund to go and get my masters in coachessoccer. That's what I wanted to do, and sometimes when you're, a young kid youdon't know what you want to do and you're only enoug, ao strungle enoughand good enough to play professionally for a certain amount of time. So Ichose to come out of college, but I had a backup plan. You know afterwards soyeah, something I want to say you had that plan coming forward, so you playedfor the black cog for a couple years. You played in the indoor leagues tothat some, how I feel like disappeared in a way like professional indoor. Doyou think that can make a comeback? You playe ther early on your career in nineTue, N Nty? Three: Do you think that could possibly be in the future yeah I mean it's tough, because youknow indoor activities are going to be a lot different than AC outdooractivities and to come back and play indoors. You know where people areclose environment and you know a lot closer touching. You know the boardsand different things like that. I think the game is going to be a lotdifferent here. Thisthis next year. Two Thousand and twenty one, you know it's all going to depend on howeveryone comes out of this winter. With you know the coronavirus and the coldnflu season and all that stuff, but I think indoors, a great game, I loved it.I enjoyed it, it's very difficult to kind oftransition. I think that it's easier for me as an outoutdoor player totransition and do an indoor player for me personally. I think it's harder forindoor players to transition into an outdoor professional, that's just frommy experience with all the players that I've played with and against. I playedin the Olympics and when I came back from the Olympics, the Black Hawks weretrying to put together first division team to play in Mexico, and the Leaguehad had folded the the APSL at that stage. We just won two nationalchampionships with you know, as a young player with the a league and then nowall of a sudden, we don't have a league. So I went to play indoor soccer andCleveland Ohio. So I'm a country, you know California boy and now I'm livingin Cleveland, OIIO, yea. Thirty three degrees below zero next to Lake Erie,and I was like Whoa. This is crazy. I'm living in like the Tundra, you know isso so I wasn't used to that. But I mean itwas great. It was a great experiencefor me as a young young man. We want a world championship indoor worldchampionship there, so I enjoyed that. But then it gave me experience to comeback and kind of manage ar team here when the Grizzles kind of came up andwere looking for a coach, I decided to kind of get my feet wet with that, and-and I learned a lot from that, I learned how to do Green Card transfers.European transfers work permits. In fact, our national team coach now havelots of Andanoskyuse to play for me and I helped him get his work, visa andeverything from overseas to play professional indoor soccer, where hemade a great name for himself. So I learned a lot from from all myexperiences yeah and I feel, like you were there throughout, like the wholebeginning process of the US national team in US soccer, so n, one thousandnine hundred and ninety it was the first time the US went to World Cup inforty years and you debuted that same...

...year after the world. Cub So tell mefirst, I want to talk about to whatwere you going through emotionally onSeptember, fifteenth one thousand nine hundred and ninety against turn it ayour ebut with the national team. Yeah I mean that's man, you're diggingdeep, now t that's a long time ago. You remember that what you were e- Ohyeah, yeah. Now, there's no doubt about it. I mean when we when we went to Trenadad it wasa complete different world. There was, you know there was music being playedout of our Ur Hotel Window. I remember you know, sleeping on the the fourthfloor fifth floor and there is actuall actually drums going on n outside ofour window until one to three o'clock in the morning, and you know we calleddown the front destk said: Hey: what's going on, can we get we get these guysto stop? You know banging their drums, but that's how important soccer is todifferent culture right as an American? You don't really see that and one thoudnine hundred and certainly didn't see that unless you'reon a national team traveling around the world right. So it was very interestingto see and be a part of that group where the culture like they were doingwhatever they could to make an advantage for their team they're,keeping US up until two three four o'clock in the morning. You knowplaying the drums outside of our window. It was nuts and you know you had to goand play and excruciating heat that you're not really used to differentenvironment fields. Were you know not nearly as nice as the ones that youknow we're used to? That's a you know all these experiencesthat that I have over the years. You know helped me define me as a playerand as a person and to understand that there's different, you know cultures ofsoccer players out there. It's a it's, a really unique ECLECTIC group ofpassionate people when I retired in two thousand and six I actually went towhen I retired I went to Germany and I watched the World Cup and I went andtraveled around to like four different venues and just as a fan, I was like enthralled how cool it was to be a soccer fan, and that's when I knew you know. Ididn't know this as a player, but you know fans you S, people like yourselfthat really follow us for and people that study it and they have theirfavorite players and they got player cards and stuff like that. Soccer players don't realize howimportant they are to those people until you're retired and you go see itfor yourself, you'r kind of like in that that boiling pot- you just don'trealize that it's boiling it's just it's so immersive of culture and people,lovetheir national team members, so that was a great experience yeahsomething I also wanted. I was going to discuss with you as the culture wisetoo, so you went to Barcl, onone thousand nine hundred and Igety two forthe Olympics. How do you compare their love and culture for soccer compared tothe US yeah I mean we didn't even knowBarcelona as Barcelana. Back then right I mean, as a kid is a teenager. Playing withyou were twenty one at the time right playing Yeaha I was on the nationalteam when I was fourteen years old. So I was the first time that ie played youknow with the national team n went to Spart Stanford Stadium and Wi. The USAwas playing China or Russia. I think so that was my first time and then Istarted traveling with all these national teams played in all the juniorwil cups and then the ninety two Olympics was something that I wasreally. I was very keen to growing up as a personwanting to be an Olympic athlic. That was my goal. It was my top goal on mychart. You know if I had a chart that I made and I looked at every week, thatwas my top coals to be an Olympic athlete so being there as a young man,and you have all these great w countries that are playing and you'relooking at Barcelona, as, as you know, place to play that you don't reallythink about it. Because Barcelona, you know the team. Barcelona was never thatbig back then I mean they were always a giant and soccer, but it wasn't reallybroadcasted to American viewers. We never had you know all the channels towatch. We didn't have you know Fox soccer, we didn't have you know easyaccess to watch it online. So you know, Barcelono was really not even close to being a householdname in Americans soccer fans mind so to be there and be a part of thatbefore Barcelon became Barcenona. You know it's a big thing to be. You knowtraveling up and down the streets as theragos as as a young man and walkinginto the Olympic Village, with all the best authletes in the world. You knowat one place, you know we went to cafeteria for for lunch and I remember we're watching the Olympics, Thehad, TVs, n on the thewalls, and we were watching, I think the track and field and Michael Johnson,I think it won. You know like a couple of gold metor, something one of thesprints and and about an hour later, as...

...we're coming out of he cafeteria wasjust getting off the Olympic bus with the gold metal around his neck, and Iwas like Whoa. This is real this I just watch this Guy Winna go metal on TV andnow I'm standing next to him at the cafeteriat, the Olympic Village. Andthen you know you had Michael Jordan, Larry Bird Patrick Ulian, DominicWilkins, the Dream Team was there with all those great basketball players,Shanno Miller, dominic, Dawz, all those little gymnists that were so. You knowunique to American gymnus when they won t e, the GolMetals. They were our next door neighbors in our dorm, so they werearound us all the time. It was quite amazing and that's something to Iwanted to point out that the Ninni to Olympics was the first Olympics wherethey changed the format to under twenty threes for soccer, and so I feel likethat, really helped a lot to to develop all these young players into being intomoving up in the ranks. If I could say yeah, you did your homework there, soyeah it was, and you're allowed to have. I think two players on the team thatwere were seen iour member, so you can have two. You know, and I thought thatwas cool to, because each team had you know a big time player if you're playingagainst a national team player like stochkof orsomebody. You know big time on the oppos on doia winter yeah it was, itwas a. It was interesting because I think thatthat really brought light to the next generation of national team World Cupveterans, and we had a lot of really good players on that team that went onand did great things and and their future careers and MLS and overseaspacy color Bradfeet creedle. You know some wonderful names of soccer, Saudio,Rena and then Halexi Lalas Toa part of that ody right, yeah, son now is, iskicking an Indor yeah, I'm a big Claudio Fan as a player. He was anamazing young player on our team, and you know those are the guys thatinspired the next generation of Landa donavans and you know the nextgeneration after that too, and then you were part of the very first mols draft,one thousand nine hundred and ninety six. So how do you think? Do you thinkthe format now is better than the one that was back then in terms of thedraft. I think it was just a matter of convenience of what wewere able to do back. Then you know we we didn't have the easy access to to some of these major sportsfacilities that you can go to so we had to get together and do a nationalcombine. So all the players that wanted to play in them less since there wasthere wasn't a league. Yet we had to go to a combine and you had to basicallytry out in front of all these professional coaches. So eachprofessional team had their coach and Thei coachin staff and we actually wentand trained there for a week and trained and they watched US play andthen they offered. Then we went into the draft. So it's different. Now wehave a lot of a lot more access to videos. You have footage for highlightreels. You Have Aly, you know, games going on, you have. You know: USL Games.You Have College Games that you just see on TV, so it was a totallydifferent time period. It's a lot easier! Now I think, to recruit playersand back then you had to have a good eye and you had to actually travel andbe there and be a part of the combine, and I want to ask to this- might bekind of. I don't know somewhat personal, but you were drafted by the Metro Stars.So what was the main reason you refused to sign with them and which ended upyou being traded to the sanse clash, which is now the hells a earthquake? Yeah, that's a good truvid question. Iwas a first player in MLS history, traded and basically I had A. I had started afamily. I had a one year old daughter, my daughter, a dary, and I just didn'tfeel like uprooting my family from California, I love being here. I playedmy entire career up to that point. You know, as a young, professional, comingout of college and playing pro seventeen years old and playing through you know the BlackHawks and having a great fam base out here. I just I didn't think that it wastime for me to uproove my family and, although I respected their opinion on you, know, drafting meso high. I think I was dropped in like nineteenth overal pick or somethinglike that yeah, the country- I just you know, I told the coach I'd,never forget called up, say: Hey we're, really excited. We want you to come toNew York and I was like man I a Ahyeah. I can't be an herven cowboy. You know Igotto be out in my my neck of the wood, so I think he was really Ralph. Carez was he wasthe assistant coach. There D he was very understanding, he's the one. Ithink that drafted me and back. Then you had no idea where you're going togo. You just Yo had to go, and I you know I probably got a l little bit ofstick from the US soccer, but I've always just been my own person and dowhat I feel is best for me and my...

...family, and subsequently I was the first playerever traded traded back to San Jose, for I think, ret hardy and anotherplayer two players and play my career. My whole career right here in mybackyard. So that's just what I've wanted to do and I stuck by and something eleso want to ask out ofthe two MLS cups o one. I think my prediction, I think maybe the twothousand and one was more important to you or stands out en your career morecompared to the one thousand D. Three. Would you agree? Oh yeah, that was sendrelly yer. I callit that was so. I'd been injured. Major catastrophic injury with my neckoas,nearly paralyzed and a they told you would never play again right. Is thatyou yeah, that's true. The doctor said: I've never played again they they said I was done and basically Iwas out of soccer for over a year and I went back in and they had just did aroutine. You know check on my neck. You can probably see it here. It's they cupt me open. There portook a boneout of my hip and serted Ed in there and was supposed to fuse all the wayaround. It didn't fuse for the first four months and they said if it doesn'tfuse after six months, you're pretty much, never going to be clear to play,especially a contaxt for where you're heading the ball, and it got to a pointwhere you know I was written off and everyone kind of wrote me off from everplaying again he's done, and I just worked really hard. I had a you know agood trainer in Bruce Morgan and I was doing that exercise is strength andexercise had a bone stimulator on. You know that was wearing. I was doingeverything I could to get back and healthy and it just wasn't wasn'thealing infusing all the way around. So you know they were thinking, it mighthave been a problem with the fuse, but after a routine visit after a yearlater, the doctor came running out with the xray sang is fuse is fe that me andhe said well, you can go back and play soccer legally. If you want so once ththe DOMINAC caneer had heard about that and Frank Gallop. They they called me.I was in Reno Nevada and I I' never forgets we're up there with a familyevent and they calle me said: Hey. We like you to come, try out again for theearthquakes and which was a clash back then I think her'm not sure they ware.They were those quise, the earthquake. Still so I said Heck Yeah I'll, bethere on Monday. So I went that night. I remember I got out of thing was aSaturday or Friday or something I went training in the snow, just running thesnow like rocky Siberia, I don't know where it was, butit was snow up to my knees, running trying to get healthy and get fit andyou know socer fit because soccer fits a total different filtness and then youwon. You want that year, Ms Comeback Player of the year yeah, even beforethat it was, it was more difficult because I went back and the game adchanged at that time. Everyone was playing manmark and I was a manmarker.So if Dewhigt Yoork came to town, I marked him this Tordik, you marked hiteYourk, you kick that guy and you don't let him score. That was my job all ovr,the Felif he went. If he went into the bathrooms, I'm handing the Kissue, youknow I don't it's that's. How close I had to mark my players now tight. I wason them, you know so for me, the game at changed into Ha Zonal back for herewe were sweeper stopper and I was manmarker a destroyer. Now I had tolearn how to play a zonal system of pressure. Cover, balance andcommunication is a lot more difficult than people realize, because whenyou're, when you're physical with somebody Yo get tight with them, youcan track them down. You can intimidate them. You can dominate them when you'rein a zoone system. You have to take care of your Zown, a D, take care ofyour partner around you, so you have to change a whole outlook as a player, soit was a unique transfer transition for me and then I had he the hard situation with the League. Then molestdidn't want to sign me because I was drafted like number nineteen in thefirst round of major Le Soccer. Now they only wanted to offer me a contractlike a rookie, so I was one of the top players in the country before I wasinjured and now coming back. They wanted to pay me a rookie salary,because I was a liability, so that was a difficult thing. I signed my contractwith major league soccer the day before we played La Galaxy, and I played inthat Rosebowl game that next day and I scored a goal of my head off a cornerkick and I was just running around jumped on thestadium. You know, Wall on was likeshaking. My Fist just proven thedoctors wrong, proving everyone. That said, I wouldn't be able to do it inall the roadblocks that they threw in front of me, and I think, that's kindof been. My mindset is just a continue to prove people wrong. So the next gamewas a home game at Sparta Stadium. I scored another goal off of volly alf afree kick and a score. The first Hune goal the year that year two thousandand one at Sparta Stadium, and then I got the captain. The All star team is captain of the two thousand one HileStar team with you know so many great players that was an honor and then wewon the NAT. Actually, before that,...

I scored a goal with my head againstMiami fusion and that that, basically, that goal right there, it was going to be between us and Miamiwho was going to be dismantled for a major leaue soccer. There were decidingone team was going to be. You know gone next year, so we went on to win thenational championship after a scored the overtime goal there and we won the natonal championship, ad that was like the cap of the kind of the cinderellof the year and that'swhen the whole golden gold thing was still around, because now you don'tthat doesn't exist anymore. In soccer yeah it was. It was great man. It wassuch a great feeling, and you know just a great year overall, it was you know. I had a bunch of honors thatcome back player of the year was was an amazing honor to be a part of that thethe oarthquakes chose me to go down and de a part of the referees procedure where the referees do alltheir testing and stuff. I thought that was awesome. I got to be at the SBawards that year with all these great athletes and stuff, I thought that wasamazing. It just really was if you, if you can categorize special year, thatwas that was an amazing one, because then you also that was Landan donevansrookie year too. So what was it like? Seeing him grow up through the ranks ashe became? I don't know, arguably the best US player of all time. N. U, youwere played with him in his rookie year. So how was that like yeah? Wellinteresting story and is true story, Frank Yallop? He was our coach and he said. Listen. I've got this young kid and I want youand Jeffa used to take care of him and he put them right. We had our owncorner of our of our locker room. We had a corner, I had two lockers andthen Jeff Agus had two lockers and there was like one locker room betweenus, so coach Al put Alanda Donum right in between us and we have kind of ourown like corner and he goes. I want you to take care of the SOM kid he's.Specially is going to be special, so we took it very seriously now about looking after him. You know he's a mannow, so I'm sure you know he's gone through his stuff,but after the after the All Star game, I took thim up to my cabin an LakeBuriessa up that way, an her napa and we wentout on the boat and we were hanging out and landing was being an landand. Youknow young kid young teenager and had a set them in his place a couple times.You know just doing what mentors and senior players would do, and I think hegained respect for for me during that time period, because I was kind of anow nonsense guy and I gained some respect for him because you know he wasblazing a new trail for American soccer players is probably our first millionmillionaire soccer player that you know had a huge endorsement deal. He hadNike cleats stocked up on top of his locker as far as you can get it to theceiling, and he pretty much would you know, wear a pair of Nike vapors andthrow them away. You know next week and try a different color different Paranis like nothing. Anyone had ever seen before the buses. People were screaming,you know, will iou marry me and signds, and you know doing stuff that you knowa young superstar ould would get that kind of recognition, so it was. It wasamazing to be a part of that. I remember he would call me for advicewhen he got onto different platforms and different social mediathings back then, and then one day called and said: Hey what do you think?What do you think I should do and I go what o you got going on? I so I m I'mgoing to be on the David Letterman show and the tonight show. I was like Dudyour way, your way past anything US normal GAMS at been at this stage,you're at a different level. Kids, so just be humble, is what my advice was,and you know I think he's done a good job of representing himself during ourstage and during my time of overoverseeing them so thatws fun, because then that final toyou guys put against the Galaxy wo also had like Louise and Mataloa non this,which is like a Mexican legend, and you guys ended up beating that I feel likethey were stack. They had a good Haad Kobe Jones. They had like a stack team.You guys were able to to win that. I mean that those the La Galaxy, no doubtabout I, if you put if you put both teams on paper next to each other sideby side nine times out O of ten everyone Il choose that La Alaxy teamwith the stars that they had on it. But I think that's what made us uniqe,because that we had a bunch of blue collar guys like like myself whend, wehad a young, you know kid that wanted to be a superstar, and we had you knowDwaan Derarasario that was coming on the scene. He was also one of myroommates on the road, so I think frank did an amazing job of placing youngplayers with veteran players to you know kind of just keep an ey o makesure that theyre they're feeling welcome. We always made our playersfeel welcome. If you failed on our team, it wasn't because of one of the olderplayers of ventran players, weren't...

...passing the ball or didn't didn't wantto play with you or jealous or anything it was. It was all about team. So, ifyou look at our team, he probably can't name a bunch of superstars on it likethat Le Alaxy had but o we were able to win two national championships, asupporter shield, two thousand and five, and I think you know nobody would have.Probably we were last place that when I was out in two housand for that year,the team when I came into it on two thousand and one the weird last placein two thousand and the year I came back with Jeff, agoos and Landon anddifferent. You know, different players came on. The scene went from worst tofirst, which was ind of an unheard of thing. You know and something I feel like. I want toask to. Did you deal with like stress during your career, because I know youalso, while you were playing you're, also getting your coaching license, andthen you mentioned your daughter earlier, you would fly, you would posther. You would schedule her games on Sunday afternoon. So you'd have time tofly back and coach those games, so you weren't you were't, dealing with likestress during all this, like playing coaching havping to fly back and forth.No, I think you know, I think anxiety is a lot more prevalent these days and they were backin the day. You know we were just playing soccer. We were just out thereboling ind. If I can get home, see my kid and coach my kid on Sunday, I wouldI would do whatever I could to get home to do that. That was just our lifestyle. You knowif we had to go and do you know thirty appearances during the summer months. We would do that asyoung soccer players to kind of network the community, you know get thatcommunity involvement. You know times are changed. You know it's a good thing.Everything changes and ebs and flows and things come and go, but I thinkthat's one thing that is missing is that that current, you know, connectionto relationship between the fans and theplayers that we had was pretty amazing. Our Sparta Stadium was amazing place toplay event. If anyone was at the game that we came back and we were down four goals and aggregatal like Alexy,we came back and beat them five to four in Sparta Stadium, score. Five onanswer goals to move onto the the national championship in two thousandand three: that's considered the greatest game in MLS. History is whatthey tounted it, and if anyone was there at that game, they'll tell youthat energy lot of great fans for the future andthen something also you did after soccer that we ae I've talked about iton a podcast. Is that there's a lot of players going into media after theircareers? So what was your experience like in to thousand and eight workingfor a CSN doing the broadcasting for the earthquake? Did you find it hard?Did you find it easy? When I retired, I decided that I wanted to go after my coaching career and alsoyou know, continue that pathway and staying involved with soccer and itjust came, became an opportunity for me. I think the media Cersin Jad metty forthe earthquakes asked if I wanted to do it, and I really I enjoyed it. I Love TI love traveling with team and going into do preparation for Game Day. Youknow, reading all the stats of the opposing team reading over the thesoccer BIOS of players. As a soccer fan, you have to know yourteams, you have to understand what they're doing and not just understandthe game and kind of you know relay that to the modern TV watcher or gamesports fan you have to be able to. You know portray that in a sensible waythat makes sense to to somebody that may have not played in the Olympics orthe World Cup or professional. So I think you know that was kind of achallenge there. I really enjoy traveling with the team and going todifferent stadiums as a as a broadcaster instead of a player. It's acompletely different mindset like those of you that are thinking about gettinginto broadcasting it's a completely different thing than being an athletepreparing for a game as an athlete compared to preparing, as a broadcaster,you're, really you're kind of stemulating, your brain with theGameday packet you're, going over all the stats you're going over what theydid last week, you're watching video clips of the players you're coming upwith ideas that you think would be good for you know the game that you want totalk about during the game, and then you obviously have to show passion. Ithink, as a broadcaster that you you enjoy the game yourself, so theearthquakes at that time, weren't doing great. So it was tough for me to youknow to portray that passion, because I'm a very passionate person about thegame and I'm passionate about the earthquakes trying. True Blue. You knowearthquakes throughnd through and it's tough when your team's not doing well,because you want to say great things about the team and about the play, butwhen it's not going well, I ' You kind of you know: you're, not really goingto talk much about them doing bad or poor right. So it was. It was achallenge that to that couple of years and then ultimately, the master's...

...opportunity came up for me to gooverseas and I couldn't really do the master's program as a coach and gothrough that process and do the traveling for broadcast. In the sametime, so I iopted to go and track down my masters and coach. You was that something you always planed todo after soccer yeah. I think it was. You know the team and moved to the team and moved to Dallas Right, sothey moved to Texas and Houston, and I just I was at that stage where I hadprobably my ninth or tenth surgery. I blew out both my knees before playingI've had sports hernia, my first one was chason Kobia Kobe Jones around inthe Rosebowl. I blew out my sports an there and I've had a lot of surgensankle surgery and the Olympics, and I was at that stage where you know Iwas wanting to. You know, continue to do soccer, but Iwasn't sure if I wanted to move and uproot the family again. So it's kindof fitting that my end of my career was pretty much the same decision as thebeginning of my career. I decided not to move on to to Houston. I still hadtwo years left on my contract and I decided to know much time for me toI've done everything I wanted to do in soccer and I've accomplished all thegoals. Hat left a lot of DNA across the country of different fields into frontof venues, and I just felt it was time for me to start my next thirty years.So I decided to you know, continue to go after my coaching license, get myMasters and coaching and start a club. So I started westcoast soccer andstarted my own sofar business called Baxton Sports, where we do uniforms andsoccer store, different uniforms for different sports and mainly soccerstuff yehso. That's also I'm going to ask you to so. You have that small,well small business and we've seen to how COVID has affect a lot of smallbusinesses. So Howe you dealt with it in your soccer store yeah. Once again, I thinkevereverything changes right. You go from people coming in with foottraffic, trying on shoes and trying on cleets and looking at the next. Youknow vapors and Exaditas that are coming out and they want to see thePuma kings. You know a they want. You Know Kangaroo Copas and you go fromthat where people are coming in all the time to nobody coming in and I think weprepared ourselves properly. I've always been, I think you know lookingforward to the future and I always wanted to do online. So we do weswitched over to online. We have a full, you know access to online product andwe do a lot of online orders through our store, we kind of reduced our showroom. We had a big warehouse where we actually built it out with ha showroom with allthe cleats and different things you can try on and we made it into a smallershow room, so we kind of downskaled from there and we were really up in ourclub activity as far our school contacts and different things thatwe're doing and able to do online. So I think it's just you know everyone'sdoing stuff online Amazon. You know it's become a huge deal forthings, so you know we just have to change with the Times you can't get. Iup behind yeah. I agree speaking more currentized. What chancedid you give the earthquakes this season? They made the playoffs or playin Kasas City November, twenty second, how far D you thinks they're going toget in the playoffs? Hey, I'm going to tell you man, it doesn't matter whatyou did during the season. It matters what you're doing at the end of theseason when you're rolling into playoffs. So if you're hot look out man,if they're they're playing good right now, they're on a role anything canhappen, you know t it really. Doesn't it doesn't matter the way that this isset up? And I think s lot Tom said it said it best. The way that you knowmajor league soccer set up, it's not really set up like it is overseas.Where you play all these games and the team, that's won the most standing atthe end right, yeah, inthe, United States, you get you make it into theplayoffs and anything can happen. You can have injuries. You can have weather.You can have fel conditions. You can have you know a players sick, you can.I mean it's just anything can happen in the playoffs. So I give them as good ofa chance as anyone else. I know I was on there that they hade me do thestarting eleven lineup the day that they played, I think the La Galaxy, andthat was their turnaround. I think they tied that game and they started winninggames after that. So I'm hoping a, I got a little bit of earthquake nostalgia. You know vibesgoing forom and then also to with the US now just to close out the USnational team having those roster of only players in Europe, except forSebestan likeet who took jost argens place. Do you think that's the way theUS natiunal team should go about it from now on having only players fromEurope or should they have both MLS and Europe? No, I think it should be both I mean...

...you have like for me. I was offered a aopportunity to go overseas and play, and you know call me silly or callstupid or call me naive. I just didn't. I felt like California is where I'vealways wanted to live. You know I didn't want to go and live in anothercountry. I didn't want to go and start a family in a different country andhave my kids and my w wife and family and friends. You know all uproot andand not be a part of it just to track down. You know fame or money. So thatwas just me. I think it's great that you know Rania and legit and all youknow, a lot of players are going overseas and doing great things, butthey're geared to do that. Their lives may be different, their whole. Theirwhole setup of what they want to do is fantastic. I think it's a great option.I think you know people should look at it, especially I think more now morethan ever, the female game needs that, because there's a new league in Englandand and there's so many great American players that go over there, especiallywith college. You know not playing right now, goover and see what it'slike overseas for a little bit, go on a sabatical and check it out and go tryto make it a lot of players will do that when they're you know, they're notset with what they want to do in their lives t if they just want to play balland go play, you know, go go, give it a chance, but I think there's still a lotof American players like me that love where they live love their family lovetheir hometown of their their. You know having their brothers and sistersaround them, their mom and dad, and you know, want to be a part of where theircommunity is back home, and that was my biggest thing. Kasy Keller was one ofmy best friends in soccer on the nous national team and he was trying to getme to come over and play with them all throughout right, yeah in England. So Ijust felt you know. Wel didn't didn't really care about the big contracts. Iwanted to be happy with where I'm at and my choice is sound because I'm youknow part of a good, solid club foundation. I built a club here that Ithink is hopefully respected by other peers and the game, and you know we'redoing it our own way. The way that we know how to do it and the way that I'velearned and using my experience to hopefully benefit some of these playersin a positive way. Okay, so that's all the time we got forthis week. So thank you again, troy for being part of this week's episode, noproblem an I enjoyed that any anytime. If you want to call up and do somethingagain, let me know I'm happy to do it make sure Tho like subscribe share andthanks again for doing us this week.

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