US SoccerUS Soccer

Spanning the Ages: ussoccer.com's Q & A with F.C. Westchester and Academy Select Forward Brian Span


ussoccer.com: First of all, you’ve got a pretty clear-cut nickname. Why did people start calling you Cobi?
Brian Span: "It comes from Cobi Jones. When I was younger, I’m not sure I remember when, people thought I played a lot like he does, using his speed. It started with a few friends, but everyone picked it up, and it’s stuck with me until now. "

ussoccer.com: How long have you been playing soccer?
BS: "I’ve been playing most of my whole life, ever since I was five or six and could start to kick the ball around. I just love the sport; I play it any chance I can get, whether with my friends or my teammates."

ussoccer.com: Do you have a favorite player that you follow?
BS: "My favorite player is Thierry Henry, he’s just an incredible player. I watch him all the time—the way he moves, how he beats defenders. I try to imitate him and how he uses his speed on the field."

ussoccer.com: You’ve been selected to be a part of one of the Academy Select teams, and you’re also playing a year up for your club team. How’s it feel to be one of the younger kids on both your team and the academy team?
BS: "It’s really great. I like the academy a lot because it pushes you to another level. At showcases you know [national team] coaches are going to be at games, and before it wasn’t like that. You want to compete, to show you deserve to be at a higher level. The training is pushing me by playing with older kids, to play with them I have to pick my level up if I want to be better than them. It’s not as easy as playing with kids my age, but from the beginning of the season until now I think I’ve really improved because I’m playing kids that are better, stronger, and faster."

ussoccer.com: Do you have any brothers or sisters that play soccer?
BS: "I have a brother whose name is Skip, he plays for Illinois State College. He’s a really talented player. A lot of how I got better was from playing with him growing up."

ussoccer.com: We saw you playing some FIFA ’09 in the Athletes’ Lounge earlier today. Any other hobbies or activities you like to do apart from soccer?
BS: "Well, not really, I really like playing video games. I like to play with Arsenal, because I first started watching Henry when he was with them, he got me to like that team."

ussoccer.com: Do you have any superstitions or pre-game rituals when you take the field?
BS: "I have a wristband that I wear on my right arm. When I first started wearing it, I played well, and it stuck with me—so I thought that if I kept wearing it, I’d keep playing well, and I’ve worn it ever since."

 

×