U-20 Men's National Team Draft Prospects: Seitz, Igwe, Arguez and Wallace
On the eve of the 2007 MLS SuperDraft, we caught up with Bryan Arguez, Amaechi Igwe, Chris Seitz and Anthony Wallace to gauge their frame of mind as they prepare to take the next step forward in their soccer careers.
Jan. 11, 2007
Take us through the decision process to enter the MLS SuperDraft.
Chris Seitz: “It all started after this season at the University of Maryland. I sat down with the coaches quite a few times, probably three times a week for a couple weeks to try and figure out what the best plan was. I was trying to figure out whether that was leaving or staying for the spring, trying to find out what the best plan of action was for me. Eventually, after talking to all three of my coaches, with a couple people back home, I decided it was the right time to go and try my trade at the next level.”
“Well, I was looking to go pro after the U-17 World Championship, and was kind of looking to go over to Europe because I had a couple of options to go on trial, but the timing didn’t work out between graduating and going to college. I decided I wanted to be safe and go to college and actually, playing in college helped a lot from a physical standpoint. I just knew after this season that I wanted to go, so when the option with MLS came up, I decided to take it.”
Bryan Arguez: “It was a long process that started with talking with U-17 head coach John Hackworth and Brian Maisonneuve. I actually talked to a lot of coaches to get a lot of feedback. I also talked to some teachers about going to college. I talked to my parents and my brothers, too. I really just talked to a lot of people. It really came down to U-20 head coach Thomas Rongen and my brother that really convinced me to go into the draft. My brother was really just pumped for me to go pro, while Rongen told me that I was ready for the next level.”
Anthony Wallace: “I did a lot of talking with my college coach actually. He was telling me I’d know the right time to go and I shouldn’t worry about it. I talked to may dad about it, too. And my coach was right; when MLS came and talked to me I just felt like it was the right time to go.”
Not long until the draft…what are you feeling right now? What’s going through your head?
CS: “I’m a little anxious, but I’m also really excited to find out where I’ll be going and where I’ll be playing. I guess I get more anxious as more and more people talk about it.”
AI: “I’m pretty anxious to see where I’ll end up. It’s a life-changing decision for me that’s being decided by a coach because I could just end up anywhere. But no matter where I end up, I’m sure I’ll develop. As Thomas (Rongen) says, whoever picks you really wants you and I’ll be able to develop with a coach who really wants to help me improve.
BA: “I’m a bit anxious because I might be on TV. Really though, I haven’t really thought about it all that much.”
AW: “I’m not necessarily nervous, I’m just anxious to see where I’m going to end up.”
Have you heard any rumors of what team might draft you?
CS: “I’m hearing all these rumors, but I know on draft day there are going to be a lot of trades so I don’t want to get my hopes up about going anywhere or anything. I’m just keeping it all in and waiting to see where I go. I’ll be happy to go to any team.”
AI: “My mom has kind of been looking, along with my agent, and people keep calling and telling me these people are interested or these people are interested, but it seems to change every week. I really have no idea at this point. I could end up in L.A. I could end up on the East Coast somewhere. It really doesn’t bother me. I really don’t have any idea. I just want to find out.”
BA: “I’ve heard some rumors about going to L.A., which would be great, especially if I got the chance to play with David Beckham (laughs). Also, Donovan, Sturgis and Quavas. While that would be great, I’m excited to go anywhere. I’m thinking that no matter where I go I’m going to work my butt off and try and get on the starting team right away.”
AW: “I’ve heard a lot of stuff, but I don’t really know what to follow. In the end though, it really doesn’t matter where I go. I just want to go to a team and have the chance to play.”
Is there a player in MLS that you look up to or want to model your game after?
CS: “I’ve always been a big fan of Brad Friedel. I know he went a different route than I’m going as he started out overseas, came back and then went back over, but I think we have somewhat of a similar style even though our builds are a little different. He’s a guy who’s been there, done that. I’ve respected everything he’s done.”
AI: “My favorite player in the MLS has always been Dwayne de Rosario. When I first started getting into the MLS, he was tearing up the league and had “Goal of the Year.” I would go to MLSnet.com and watch his highlights, his free kicks, his bikes. He was also close to home when he was with the Earthquakes, so I’d go and watch him live. One day I actually saw him in the airport on my way to a U-17 camp and I talked to him. It was weird because you know they don’t really know you, but it seems like it because you’ve seen him so often. He was with the Canadian national team in the airport, but the Earthquakes had just played Santa Clara and he remembered my older brother, which was pretty cool.”
BA: “Shalrie Joseph. I definitely remember watching him when he was in MLS before he went overseas. I liked the way he played.”
Who’s the first person you’re going to call after you get drafted?
CS: “Parents. I’ll call them. They’ll be watching it, along with a lot of other people, but I’ll be calling them first to see what their initial reaction is. I went to a draft party last year and saw what that was like so I’m sure my phone will be ringing.”
AI: “I’ll probably call my parents, and definitely talk to my dad. I mean I wouldn’t be playing soccer if it wasn’t for him. He taught me everything I know with soccer, giving me the tools to be at this level. I just want to thank him for everything he’s given me. This is my career now and, basically, he’s given me my career and my dream.”
BA: “I’ll probably call my mom. She’ll be watching on TV for sure.”
AW: “Everyone I know is going to be watching, but I’ll probably call my dad and mom. I’ll definitely ask them what they think about the new city I’ll be living in.”
Who has helped you the most to get you where you are now?
CS: “Wow. That’s a tough question. I’d probably have to say Sasho Cirovski, my head coach at the University of Maryland. I went into college not knowing if I was going to start, but I started to get confidence and developed to where I feel I’m ready to go on (to the pros). I feel I’ve matured. The Maryland coaching staff put me out there so I had to mature on the field and off the field, so I have to give them a lot of credit for everything they’ve done for me.”
BA: “My dad. He was my coach from five years old until I was about 10. My brothers also helped. My mom was always supportive. And all of my coaches from my club team in Miami to the national team coaches.”
AW: “I would have to say my father. Ever since I was a little kid he took me to the park and did things like play one-on-one. He was always like my coach. He’s the wise guy, the one who taught me what I know.”
Is there a position you’d like to play over others in MLS?
AI: “First, it’s get on the field, but I would obviously like to play left midfield, an attacking role, because I grew up playing that position. That’s the position I feel less pressure and I can be more creative, which is what I love about the game. I love being able to go at people and score goals. But, if a team needs me to play a defensive role that’s fine. I feel I’ll actually go further in this game at a defensive position and will mature into that role, but either position is fine with me.”
BA: “Midfield. Defensive midfield or as a linking midfielder. Once I get the physical part of my game down then defensive midfield.”
AW: “Center midfield. I like having the ball at my feet and being a playmaker.”
What do you think will be the toughest thing to get used to in MLS on the field? Off the field?
CS: “I think I’ll have to learn to listen a lot more. There are going to be a lot of veterans out there and it’s my job to take all the information from them because I’m still learning every day. Off the field it will probably be adapting to the lifestyle of a pro, whether it’s nutrition or planning out the day since we’ll have a lot of free time and I just have to make sure I’m doing the right things with it.”
AI: “On the field, it will definitely be speed of play. There’s no doubt it will be a much faster game. I’ll also have to build my confidence up. I’ll be playing with the Donovans and maybe the Beckhams of the world, so if they say something to me, I’ll have to learn how to keep my mindset right. Off the field, I’ll have to learn how to manage my time as I’m sure there will be a lot of down time. I want to make sure I use it in the right way, instead of going out and partying all the time.”
BA: “On the field will just be the physical part – winning headers and making tackles. Off the field I’m not totally sure right now. That’s definitely part of being a professional I learn about pretty quickly and will probably talk to my teammates and coaches to get some advice.”
AW: “On the field, it will be the physical battle. As you can see, I’m kind of skinny. I’ll just have to convince myself even though a guy is a little bit bigger that I can win the ball. Off the field, the whole responsibility of being on my own.”
Is there something you’re looking to buy with your first paycheck?
AI: “I’m trying to buy a car right now. Wherever I go I’ll have to have that. Maybe an Audi or something.”
BA: “I’m going to frame it. Just kidding. I’m going to cash it and put some money toward buying a car. I want to get a 2005 Ford Explorer, used. Then my plan is to put ‘22s on it, a sound system in the back and a navigation system.”
AW: “A car. I’m getting a car. I’m not sure what kind yet, but I need some transportation.”