US SoccerUS Soccer

w/ Preston Zimmerman

What’s it going to be? Door number one, door number two, or door number THREE?!? Okay, so this section has less to do with “Let’s Make A Deal” and more to do with the Multiple Choice section of an SAT test. “In 3’s” peeks inside the head of a select National Team player as they pick one of three choices for 25 questions about personal tastes and pop culture.

U.S. U-17 MNT forward Preston Zimmerman burst onto the U-17 national team last April and hasn’t looked back. He solidified his role as the team’s goal scorer a month after joining residency, traveling with the team for the Ballymena International Tournament in Northern Ireland where he scored two goals and wreaked havoc in all four games, good enough to be chosen as the tournament MVP. Zimmerman will be an important key if the U-17s are going to continue their streak as the only country to qualify for every FIFA Under-17 World Championship, when they head down to Costa Rica for the CONCACAF qualifying tournament from April 12-16. The Pasco, Wash., native sat down with “In 3’s” and gave us an inside look into what a natural goal scorer likes from categories like television, music and sports.

Best macho vehicle: sports car, SUV or big ol’ truck?
“Big ol’ truck. I don’t like anything big and fancy, I just like something big and cool like a big ol’ truck that can smash other cars.”

Favorite of the three rivers that merge in your hometown of Pasco, Washington: Columbia, Yakima, or Snake?
“I’m going to have to go with Columbia because it is right by my house. It’s like a block over. I see it every single day when I’m home. I used to do a little fishing, but it was pretty bad around the area I live. I go boating out on the river though, or tubing which is really fun.”

Favorite player to come out of Duke: Jay Heaps, Jason Kreis or John Kerr?
“I’m going to have to go with Jason Kreis on this one. Jason Kreis is the best Duke player ever. He’s going to get Salt Lake to the championship this year.”

Best thing to go see when in Seattle: The Fish Market, Mount Ranier or the Space Needle?
“I’d say probably the Space Needle because when you are at the top of it you can see every single thing. That’s a pretty cool sight when you are at the top. Usually it is pretty cloudy and rainy there, so you don’t see that much, but (on a clear day) you see everything down below.”

Best thing about U.S. Soccer’s Residency Program: training against the best players every day, traveling around the world for games or getting the best coaching in the nation?
“I’m going to have to say traveling around the world because it’s the coolest experience ever. You get to see all these different places that you never thought you would see. You get to see how people live and see how soccer is different in other countries, how passionate they are. Experiencing all these things that are different from your country helps you learn more about everything.”

Worst thing to happen to you in a game with the U-17s: getting your nose broken, missing an open shot on goal or getting ejected?
“Missing an open shot on goal. It’s happened probably two or three times now. The ball is right in front of the goal and the goalie is gone for basically an empty-netter and you just miss it. I can’t really explain it more than that. It has happened…I was going to say two or three times, but I’m going to say two. They haunt me. I’ve broken my nose four times now, so I’m kind of used to it. I broke it in Guatemala and I just kept on playing.”

Best leisure footwear: flip-flops, runners or sneakers?
“Flip-flops. They’re the most comfortable. I wear them to games, practices, everywhere. The only bad thing is I trip in them a lot when I’m walking in the grass.”

Favorite type of non-American food: Mexican, Italian or Chinese/Asian?
“I’m going to say Chinese/Asian. That’s what I just ate tonight (in the cafeteria) at IMG Academy. I eat it pretty regularly.”

Best burrito joint: Shippable, Bag Fresh or Q’doba?
“I don’t think I’ve experienced any of those. Wait, did you say Q’doba? That one is pretty good actually. They don’t have one in my hometown, but they have one in Spokane, two hours north, so I’ve eaten there before. That’s the only one I know, so I’m going to have to pick that one.”

Best fish to eat: salmon, trout or swordfish?
“Probably salmon. My dad goes fishing a whole lot and he catches salmon sometimes and cooks them for us to eat. They’re real good.”

TV/Video Games:
Best show on MTV: “Punk’d,” “Real World” or “Viva La Bam?”
“That’s a good question, but I think “Punk’d.” The show is awesome. You get to see all these celebrities getting messed with, doing all this stupid stuff. It’s pretty funny. I just like to see how they all freak out. Got to put a little scare into them sometimes, they’re lives are too good.”

Funniest animated series: “Simpsons,” “South Park” or “Family Guy”?
“Definitely “South Park.” I mean everything about it is hilarious. How Kenny and Cartman and all the guys talk, what each episode is about it is just pretty hilarious. It’s all random stuff. I haven’t seen the movie, I’ve just seen the shows, but I hear the movie is pretty funny, too.”

Reality show you’d most like to be on: “Survivor,” “The Amazing Race” or “Real World?”
Real World. I think that would be awesome to meet all these random people in one place. I’m not sure where I’d want it to be. Well, definitely not in Bradenton. Probably New York City because I’ve never been there and I’ve always wanted to go.”

Best team to control when you play NHL Hockey: N.Y. Rangers, Colorado Avalanche or Detroit Red Wings?
“I play NHL 2005 all the time. Those are pretty good choices because I’m actually in a season right now and I’m the Rangers. So, I’m going to have to go with the Rangers. Washington doesn’t have a team, so I always have to go with someone else.”

Soccer & Sports:
Biggest conference game you’re looking forward to while at Duke: North Carolina, Wake Forest or Virginia?
“You know, I’ve been hearing so much about the rivalry between Duke and Virginia and how crazy it is. So, I’m really excited about the Duke-Virginia game. I hear that Duke hates Virginia. Duke hates all three of those schools I guess, but Virginia the most.”

Favorite sports team in Seattle: SuperSonics, Mariners or Seahawks?
“Definitely not the Seahawks. They’re bad. I’ll say the SuperSonics. That’s probably the best choice out of the three.”

Best U.S. National Team player with ties to the state of Washington: Kasey Keller, Chris Henderson, or Michelle Akers?
“Definitely Kasey Keller. Lacey, Washington. He’s a big-time player and he’s representing Washington well.”

Best sports magazine: Sports Illustrated, ESPN The Magazine or Sporting News?
“Probably Sporting News. Sometimes they’ve got a lot of hockey games on there. I’m kind of crazy about hockey because I used to play it.”

How far will the University of Washington go in the NCAA Basketball Tournament: Round of 16, Final Four or National Championship?
“I don’t even think they will get to the Round of 16, but I’ll say that because that is the lowest one. Hopefully I’m not fully quoted on that one, but I’m not really a University of Washington basketball fan. I don’t know how they even got a number one seed. They barely beat Montana (in their first round game). That’s trouble when you can’t beat Montana.” [Editor’s note: The Washington Huskies made it to the Round of 1 before falling to Louisville, 93-79.]

Favorite EPL team: Manchester United, Chelsea or Arsenal?
“I was hoping Arsenal was going to be there. Definitely Arsenal. They’ve been my favorite team since I was a little kid. I used to watch them all the time. I’d watch Thierry Henry tear people up and score goals. That’s my favorite team. All their players are all-stars. I’ve got the jersey, the scarf, all that kind of stuff.”

Best Seattle grunge band from the 1990’s: Pearl Jam, Nirvana or Alice in Chains?
“Probably Pearl Jam. I haven’t heard a lot of their music, but I haven’t even heard of the other two choices. I’m just going to go with the biggest name on that one to save face. [Editor’s note: Preston was questioned how he could not know of Nirvana] Oh, you said Nirvana? I’m going to stick with Pearl Jam. When I heard Pearl Jam, I basically didn’t even hear the other two choices.”

Best kind of music to listen to before a game: rap, rock or pop?
“Before a game I usually listen to the punk rock stuff. I listen to Yellow Card, Green Day, those kinds of bands. There are another two that aren’t bands, but I get made fun of for. I listen to Hilary Duff and Lindsay Lohan. Wait, not Lindsay Lohan, Jessica Simpson. My bad. Wait, not Jessica Simpson, (laughing)Ashley Simpson. There’s so many names.”

Worst actress/model turned musician: Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton or J-Lo?
“Definitely Paris Hilton, she’s pretty bad with the music.”

Soccer related movie coming out soon that you’re most looking forward to seeing: “Game of Their Lives,” “Kicking & Screaming” or “Fever Pitch”?
“‘Kicking & Screaming’ with Will Ferrell in it. Every movie that has him in it is funny. The movie looks like it will be hilarious, so I’m looking forward to seeing that one.”

Hottest actress: Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Aniston or Halle Berry?
Angelina Jolie. All the movies she makes are awesome. Usually, I go to the movie because she is in it. She’s so hot. You can’t even really explain it, she’s just really hot. Everyone knows it.”

Funniest former SNL actor turned movie actor: Will Ferrell, Chris Rock or Adam Sandler?
“I’d have to say Will Ferrell again. I like all the movies he makes. Old School, Anchorman, those movies are awesome. I can watch them over and over again.”