US SoccerUS Soccer

w/ Drew Carey

A new section that’s all about name-dropping. While Hollywood is the hot spot for big-time movie stars and rock-n-roll artists, we know that it’s just a matter of time before they start catching wind of the beautiful game being played just a few miles away in at The Home Depot Center in Carson. And when they do, we’ll be there to snatch them for a few questions red-carpet style in a section called “Famous Faces.”

The first “Famous Face” has been seen hovering around the U.S. Men’s National Team ever since their first final round qualifying match in Trinidad & Tobago. We assumed Drew Carey was there for Carnival until he told us he had actually come down for the game and didn’t even know the country-wide party was going on (sure Drew, we’ll play along). Carey met the team and has since been traveling everywhere the U.S. has played, including Mexico and Birmingham, Ala., and he’s planning on following the team all the way to Germany. Why? Well, first because he can. And second because he loves soccer! Read on to find out how he got into the game, what he admires about the players and what he’s planning on doing to his hair for the World Cup.    

How did you develop a love for soccer?
“It’s one of the most exciting sports in the world.  It’s fast, exciting, and there’s lots of stuff going on.  I used to watch the World Cup all the time. Whenever I read that there was a big game on, I always tried to find it.  Back then, I never understood the offside rule or anything.  It was always guys just kicking a ball around, and once in a while they’d score a goal and you’d get excited.  Now that I know more about the game, it’s a lot more exciting.  You see what these guys go through.”

What do you admire about soccer players?
“They’re so tough.  They’re always fighting.  I try to tell friends who don’t know about soccer: they fight for the ball.  They fight for space like basketball players fight for space under the hoop.  It’s all elbows and shoving.  You never say basketball is a non-contact sport.  Soccer is definitely a contact sport.  They’re always crashing into each other.  The way some teams play – I’m not going to say who – they play so dirty.  They are always throwing their spikes up, and they don’t care how they run into a guy.  It really hurts!  These guys really put their bodies on the line, and it’s just great to watch.” 

Why did you adopt the U.S. national team?
“I’m patriotic just like everyone else.  I think this is the best team we’ve ever had. I’ve already got my request in for tickets.  I’m very excited about our prospects.  If you’re going to root for a sport, you have to find a team to root for, and I can’t root for any team that’s not in Cleveland, so the national team is safe for me to root for.  The Galaxy is safe for me to root for, until Cleveland gets a soccer team.”

Cleveland is pretty much known as a Browns town. What do your boys say when you tell them you’re also a soccer fan?
“They think it’s a good sport, they just don’t follow it as much as I do.  The more you get into the players and what each guy can do, and what each team’s strengths and weaknesses are, the more exciting it is.”

You’re also a big video game fan…
“I really like FIFA 2005.”

Which team do you play with?
“I’m in career mode, so I switch every year. The first two years I was the Galaxy, then I went to Ajax, Rangers, Real Madrid, and now I’m with Man United.  I think next time I’ll have to use a J-League team or something. Maybe Club America. They are my favorite Mexican team.  Only because I don’t like Chivas.  The MLS All-Stars played them on the Fourth of July at The Home Depot Center, and they play so dirty.  I just hated them right from the minute I saw them.   Playing dirty on the Fourth of July against an American team, I always root against them.”

In Mexico, did you bring a raincoat for the potential, um, liquids flying in the stadium?
“I (brought) a little umbrella (laughs).  I swear, I almost dyed my hair red, white, and blue before I came down (to Mexico), but I couldn’t get to the hairdresser in time.  For Germany, I’m definitely doing it.”

If you could pick one player’s jersey to wear, who would it be?
“I have so many favorite players, I couldn’t pick.  That’s the great thing about it.  There’s so many good players. I admire all of them for being such good athletes and playing so hard.  They have so much pride and they are so good at what they do.”