“BEHIND CLOSED DOORS”
A section that will let you get to know the real personalities of your favorite Men’s, Women’s and Youth National Team players through various funny and unique first-person accounts. In this issue, you’ll find:
2) IN 3’s [w/U-17 MNT Defender Ofori Sarkodie]
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.
You might have known that Ofori Sarkodie is from Ghana. Or that his full name is Kwame Ofori-Attah Sarkodie. But did you know he’s technically considered a prince in his homeland? That’s right, Prince Ofori. Why is he considered a prince? Ah…we actually don’t know (he’s a little miffed as well, so back off!), but it makes sense. A born leader, Ofori doesn’t have his teammates bowing to his every command, but they will be listening on and off the field as the U-17 captain attempts to lead the U.S. into the second round of the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Championship in Peru this September.
Best place you’ve lived: Carbondale, Ill., Huber Heights, Ohio, or Bradenton, Fla.?
“I think the best place I’ve lived has been Huber Heights, Ohio, so far. It’s just home to me. It’s where I grew up, it’s where all my friends are, I think that’s where I got my base when I started my true soccer career. I do tell everyone I’m from Dayton because Dayton is the actual city, while Huber Heights is just a small suburban area, but I’m representing Huber Heights.”
Best macho vehicle: sports car, SUV or big ol’ truck?
“I’m a sports car man. Gotta be a sports car. I’m a big fan of the Lamborghini. I’m not into souping up the car and all that nonsense, you’ve got to bring it nice.”
Best player to come out of Indiana: Brian Maisonneuve, Pat Noonan or Chris Klein?
“That’s a tough question, but I think I’ll have to stick with my boy Brian Maisonneuve on this one. I don’t want to get in trouble with the coach, but that is my honest opinion.”
Best hairstyle you’ve sported: cornrows, afro or shaved?
“I like the cornrows. I’m going to stick with the cornrows for the World Championship. I’ve had the ‘fro and I kept that for the Nike Friendlies one year, but it was a little wild and my mom was like, ‘no way,’ so I moved to the braids.”
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?
“That’s a tough question. I think it’s a combination of the three. I don’t think you can have one without the other two, so I think you need all of them.”
Funniest teammate in the Residency program: Eric Lichaj, Quavas Kirk or Bryant Rueckner?
“That’s a tough one, but I think the winner is going to have to be Quavas Kirk. He’s just a natural. Quavas just has a completely different personality than everybody else. He can find humor in things that nobody else can. It’s great.”
Best leisure footwear: flip-flops, runners or sneakers?
“Definitely flip-flops. You wear cleats all day and your feet get hammered and you just want some open-toed flip-flops and let the breeze hit you.”
Favorite type of non-American food: Mexican, Italian or Chinese/Asian?
“I’m a big Chinese/Asian fan. I have a lot of friends back in Huber Heights and we eat that often.”
Best burrito joint: Chipotle, Baja Fresh or Q’doba?
“See, me and the boys fight about this a lot. I am NOT a Chipotle fan. It’s not Mexican. I’ll take Taco Bell over Chipotle any day. Out of those three choices, I’m going with Baja Fresh.”
Best Ghanaian dish: jollof rice, kontomere stew or gari fotor?
“Wow, did you talk to Freddy (Adu) about this? I’m sure Freddy and all the other Ghanaians out there agree with me it’s gotta be jollof rice.”
(editor’s note: Freddy has commented to ussoccer.com before that he does indeed enjoy jollof rice.)
Best show on MTV: “Punk’d,” “Real World” or “Viva La Bam?”
“Definitely ‘Punk’d.’ Ashton Kutcher is doing something different and I think people really enjoy the show. It’s got a little twist to it.”
Funniest animated series: “Simpsons,” “South Park” or “Family Guy”?
“You wouldn’t believe this, but we’ve accumulated every single episode of every single season of ‘Family Guy.’ Hands down. I didn’t think they could go into a home and create comedy like that. A little kid who has the vocabulary of a 38-year-old is just unbelievable. It’s just unreal.”
Hottest actress: Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Aniston or Halle Berry?
“Ohhh, man. You know I just recently saw ‘Mr. and Mrs. Smith,’ so Angelina Jolie is fresh in my mind and I love her lips. She’s one of a kind. I’m going to have to go with Angelina Jolie.”
Funniest former SNL actor turned movie actor: Will Ferrell, Chris Rock or Adam Sandler?
“Will Ferrell. I’m not even going to think twice about that one. I’m a huge Will Ferrell fan. I love his movies.”
Best Harry Potter book: “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” or the newest “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince?”
“‘Half-Blood Prince.’ The newest is always the freshest and always the best. Someone dies at the end, but I can’t release that information.”
Soccer & Sports:
Match you’re looking forward to the most during your first year at Indiana: Maryland, Notre Dame or St. Louis?
“Just from watching previous games of the collegiate season, I think my most exciting match would be against Maryland. Other than Maryland, UCLA and Wake Forest would be great competition for us and I could really test myself to find out where I’m at in college.”
Most impressive team in the FIFA Under-17 World Championship you have faced in the past two years: Brazil, Uruguay or Mexico?
“I think their reputation proceeds themselves and it is definitely Brazil. They bring a completely different style of soccer to the field and it’s just amazing to watch them, and even more of a treat to play against them.”
Favorite NFL or NBA team in Ohio: Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns or Cleveland Cavaliers?
“The Browns have been on a down slope forever and the Bengals are struggling, so I’m going to have to go with choice No. 3.”
Best U.S. National Team player with ties to the state of Ohio: Brad Friedel, Brian McBride or Frankie Hejduk?
“I’m a big fan of Brian McBride. I love the way he works and what he’s done for the team. I think he’s going to be tremendous in the 2006 World Cup.”
Favorite teammate of Michael Jordan while with the Chicago Bulls: Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman or John Paxson?
“John Paxson was clutch. Dennis Rodman was wild, but got the job done. But Pippen was always there.”
Other sport besides soccer you’d like to play professionally: golf, football or basketball?
“I don’t say this a lot, but I love to watch the game of golf. It takes a lot of skill and a lot of technical understanding. I would love to learn how to play golf well.”
Best kind of music to listen to before a game: rap, rock or pop?
“I’m more of a rap person. I love hip-hop. It just inspires me and I like listening to the lyrics as it is telling a story.”
Country music: classic, corny or crap?
“I can give respect for country music, so I’ll go with classic. I’ll give ‘em classic. I don’t listen to country music, but I respect it.”
Favorite rap artist: Notorious B.I.G, TuPac or 50 Cent?
“My favorite rap artist has to be the legendary TuPac. He can’t be replaced, can’t be imitated. There’s only one of them. And he’s still putting out records.”
You become blessed with an amazing musical voice. What singing career are you pursuing: member of a boy band, solo artist or lead vocal in band?
“Solo artist. I’m going solo. I’m going out there and showing ‘em what I’m capable of doing.”