US SoccerUS Soccer

w/ Benny Feilhaber

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.

Benny Feilhaber wasn’t thinking about playing for the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team three months ago. Heck, the Brazilian-born 19-year-old was just happy helping UCLA to the third round of the NCAA College Cup this past November after making the team as a walk-on in 2003. Three months later, Feilhaber was lacing up his Nike cleats as a starter for the U-20s during the CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament and making people wonder, who is this shaggy-haired kid with the deft touch and extraordinary vision? The short version is he’s a country music-loving, chicken teriyaki-eating, ‘The OC’-watching teenager that lived in Rio de Janeiro until he was six. For the longer version, read on.

Best date activity: dinner and a movie, sporting event or comedy club?
“Dinner and a movie because everyone likes movies, and you have to take the girl to dinner and pay for her food so she likes you.”

Favorite city you’ve lived in: Los Angeles, New York or Rio de Janeiro?
“I’m going to say Los Angeles because it’s got the beach, it’s got the mountains, and is probably the most diverse. I think if I lived in Rio right now I would have a lot of fun too, but since I was only six back then I didn’t have as much fun as I’m having now in Los Angeles.”

Best reason to go to Rio de Janeiro: Carnival, Copacabana beach or rock climbing?
“I’m going to say none. The best reason to go to Rio de Janeiro is soccer and the girls. The girls are amazing on the beach and pretty much everywhere. Girls and soccer are definitely the big two reasons to go there.’

Favorite activity to do at the beach: Surf, volleyball or just lay out?
“I like to body-board, I think that is very fun. I just picked up volleyball in the last year, so I’d probably have to say body-boarding even though I think volleyball is a lot of fun.”

Best thing about UCLA: campus, sports or girls?
“The sports. The sports for sure. There is obviously soccer as we dominate in soccer. And then all the other sports, too. I think we’re doing pretty well this year. It’s just fun to go out (to games) and there is a really good environment with the crowd. The sports are No. 1.”

Best thing to do while on the road with the national team: sleep, watch TV, play cards?
“Oh, play cards. I get to take all of Charlie (Davies’) money.”

Favorite type of non-American food: Mexican, Italian or Chinese/Asian?
“Chinese/Asian for sure. I love the chicken teriyaki. I have that at least once a month, so definitely Chinese/Asian.”

Best place to grab some grub at UCLA: Jose Bernstein, Gushi or Damon and Pythias?
“Definitely Gushi. The chicken teriyaki there is amazing. They give you a really big sized meal for just five bucks, so it’s cheap and really good. The only bad thing is I think it had a C-rating a month ago (from the Department of Health). I think it was from when they made the barbecue, there was too much smoke or something. At least that’s what they told me.”

Best late night food/snack: burrito, slice or gyro?
“I think pizza slice out of those three, but I have bagels every night. Bagels with cream cheese are the best.”

Best California burger-and-fry fast food: Carl’s Jr., In-N-Out or Jack in the Box?
“In-N-Out without a doubt. For sure In-N-Out. Their milkshakes are really good, too.”

Best Brazilian dish: Feijoada, Coxhina or Pao de Queijo?
Pao de Queijo out of those three, but I’ve always pretty much had rice and beans. My mom always made rice and beans, and I love that. Feijoada is like beans with meat chunks in it, but I don’t like the meat chunks. I just like the beans with regular white rice. But out of those three I like Pao de Queijo the best. It’s like a cheesy bread.”

Favorite girl from ‘The OC’: Marissa, Summer or Lindsay?
“Summer. No doubt about it. She’s the dark brunette and she’s definitely the hottest by far. The mom is pretty hot, but you didn’t give me that option.”

Cutest girl from first season of “Laguna Beach”: Kristin, Lauren (L.C.) or Lo?
“I didn’t watch ‘Laguna Beach’ that much and I don’t know their names. [Editor’s note: At this point, Benny was given a quick explanation of each girl to refresh his memory. Yes, the editor did watch ‘Laguna Beach.’] By just you’re description, I’ll pick Kristin even though I don’t remember exactly what she looked like.”

Favorite show on Comedy Central: “Daily Show,” “South Park” or “Chapelle’s Show?”
“‘Chapelle’s Show’. Dave Chapelle is hilarious, and I love his show with all the skits. It’s pretty funny.”

Best SportsCenter anchor: Chris Berman, Stuart Scott or Kenny Mayne?
“Kenny Mayne because all Berman talks about is football, Stuart Scott is way too hectic and then Kenny Mayne actually knows what he’s talking about, so I like him the best.”

Soccer & Sports:
Favorite former UCLA basketball player: Lew Alcindor, Bill Walton or Reggie Miller?
Reggie Miller? I didn’t even know Reggie Miller went to UCLA. Reggie Miller, Reggie Miller! I loved Reggie Miller. I even had one of his jerseys back in the day. Reggie Miller for sure.”

Favorite Brazilian club team in Rio de Janeiro: Flamengo, Vasco de Gama and Botafogo?
Botafogo! They are by far the best team and had one of the greatest soccer players to ever play on that team, Garrincha. I’ve loved them every since I was a little kid.”

Favorite L.A. sports team: Lakers, Clippers or Dodgers?

“I hate the Lakers. I hate the Dodgers. So, I’ll go with the Clippers.”

Best sports magazine: Sports Illustrated, ESPN The Magazine or Sporting News?
“I think Sports Illustrated because even though I don’t read the sport magazines too much at least there is the swimsuit issue every once in awhile.”

Favorite country music singer(s): Billy Ray Cyrus, Garth Brooks or Tim McGraw?
“I’d have to say Tim McGraw, but my favorite band is by far Rascal Flats. They are the best band in country music.”

Least favorite type of music: Rap, Pop or rock?
“Rap. I listen way too much of it when Freddy (Adu) and Charlie (Davies) put that crap on. I can’t stand it anymore by the time I leave camp.”

Best soccer movie: “Bend it Like Beckham,” “Victory” or “Ladybugs?”
“‘Ladybugs’. I think I watched half of ‘Bend it Like Beckham’ and then couldn’t watch the rest. ‘Victory’? I don’t think I’ve ever seen ‘Victory,’ unless I didn’t know the name of the movie and watched it without knowing what it was. [Editor’s note: Again, another quick explanation.] Yeah, I’ve never seen that movie, but I’ve seen previews for it. But ‘Ladybugs’ is a classic and Rodney Dangerfield is just hilarious in that movie.”

Funniest movie starring Will Farrell: “Anchorman,” “Old School” or “Elf”?
“‘Old School’. ‘Anchorman’ I didn’t even like that much. And then ‘Elf,’ I’ve only watched parts. ‘Old School’ is really funny, so, ‘Old School’ for sure.”