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Jules and Perk Interview from Bradenton

Jules: “What do you think of IMG Academy?”
Brian: “I like it. It’s a little different from what I’m used to where I go home and my parents do all the stuff. Here I have to do everything for myself because no one else is going to do it for me. The food at the cafeteria isn’t too bad either.”

J: “How has the camp been going for you guys?”
B: “It’s going pretty good so far. We’ve been playing a lot of soccer, so that has been fun. All of the guys on the team are really cool, too. It’s been a good week so far.”

J: “Did you know a lot of the guys before you came into camp?”
B: “I know a bunch of the guys, actually. That makes it better because it’s not that hard on me. Some of the guys that come from the Midwest don’t know a lot of the guys, but since I’m from the West Coast, along with a lot of the guys, it has been easier.”

J: “What’s some of the biggest differences between playing for your club and the national team?”
B: “The shots come a lot harder, that’s obvious. But, overall it just seems like everyone on the national team knows what they are doing. With my club team I have to organize the team a lot more as a goalkeeper. Here I just say it one time and they understand, so I don’t have to say it repeatedly. The speed of play is a lot different too. In high school or with my club everyone likes to sit on the ball, but here they just ping it around. And as a goalkeeper, I can’t make any mistakes and have to see the game a lot better.”

J: “How was your match against the older U-17 ‘88s?”
B: “They were a lot bigger, a lot faster, but we held our own and only lost 2-1. We gave them a close game.”

J: “With all of the U-15s possibly getting looked at to join U.S. Soccer’s Residency program, what are your thoughts about getting invited? Would you want to do it?"
B: “I would. At first I have to admit I was a little apprehensive because I didn’t really want to leave home and leave my parents and friends, but now that I’ve actually come out here I think it would be a great idea. I’ve seen how fun it is and how worth it would be to join. If you put in the hard work, you can tell it will really pay off. It would be the best way to reach one of my dreams of becoming a professional soccer player. Coming here would make that goal one step closer.”
J: “You give up a lot, but you’re right that it is definitely worth it.”

J: “What do you think of the U-15 coaching staff?”
B: “I really like the coaching staff a lot. Jim (Barlow), Manny (Schellscheidt) and my goalkeeping coach, Charlie (Inverso) have all been great and they definitely know what they are doing. I really like Manny’s perspective because he grew up in another country and he knows what it’s like not to have everything, like we do here. Charlie helps me a lot, too. Before I came here I had the physical skills, but he’s helped me improve my mental skills.”

J: “As a goalkeeper, what have you improved on since being in the national team program?”
B: “I think my communication skills have gotten better. Before I used to say so many things, but now I just say a few words that gets my point across more clearly. It just speeds up the transition from what I want to happen to the guys doing it on the field.”

J: “Talk about your path onto the national team.”
B: “I actually got cut by my regional camp, but then they asked me to come back. My first invite to the national camp was so exciting. I was actually shocked because I didn’t think I played too well, so I figured I was going to prove them right for picking me. I got a package in the mail with all the Nike gear and shoes, it felt really good. I went with the team to Mexico, which was an awesome experience to play against older guys. It was really my first experience with U.S. Soccer and what it meant to be on a national team.”

J: “Who’s your favorite Men’s National Team player?”
B: “DaMarcus Beasley. When we were in Mexico we got the chance to talk to him and he just seemed like a really nice guy.”

J: “Living in California, have you been to The Home Depot Center?”
B: “I went to a game once with my club team. It is an awesome place. Everything is brand new and the fields are really nice. The seats are pretty cool and I really like the layout.”

J: “What do you like to do in your spare time?”
B: “I like to go surfing. I live about two miles from the beach, but I don’t really do it as much as I did when I was younger. I used to go about twice a week, but now I probably only go once every two weeks or so. I also like to go snowboarding.”

J: “Any scary experiences surfing?”
B: “When I was 12, I got sucked under a wave, and I thought I was going to drown. Good thing I didn’t though.”

J: “Have you ever seen the movie Blue Crush? Worst movie ever!”
B: (laughing) “Yeah, it is a terrible movie.”
J: "So bad."

J: “Have you already started to think about colleges?”
B: “Yeah, I know I’d really want to stay on the West Coast. I’ve looked into UCLA and also been to Santa Clara.”

J: “What kind of music do you listen to?”
B: “I like alternative rock and some rap.”

J: “What’s your favorite food?”
B: (after just eating pizza) “I’d say pizza. I like pizza.”
J: “First thing that came to your head, huh?”
B: (laughing) “Yep.”

J: “And lastly, what’s your favorite Gatorade flavor?”
B: “Lemon-lime.”
J: “Oooh…rookie mistake. Gotta go with Orange. It’s ok, you’ll learn. Especially if you’re in Residency.”
B: “Ah, sure.”