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Getting to Know: U.S. U-17 MNT Defender Conor Donovan

U.S. U-17 MNT center back Conor Donovan is the old man of the U.S. U-17 Residency Program. The North Carolina native was born in early January 1996, making him the oldest player in the Residency cycle. Donovan made the trek south to join the U-17 MNT for the 2011 Fall Semester, standing tall in the center of the defense during the 2011 Nike International Friendlies in which the U-17 MNT won the four-team tournament. Donovan took some time to answer a few rapid-fire questions for as U.S. fans learn more about the 6-foot, 1-inch tall defender. How long have you been playing soccer?
Conor Donovan: “Since I was four, so about 12 years, around there. My parents got me involved when I was young. My parents put me in a rec league and my dad was actually my first coach. He got me out there.” Does anyone else in your family play soccer?
CD: “My sister plays soccer at UNC-Charlotte. My dad used to play football in high school.” If we were to press play on your mp3 player right now, what would we hear?
CD: “A mix of everything. I’m probably one of the few that listens to country, but I’d say country, hip hop and some classic rock stuff. Toby Keith or Luke Bryan are my favorite country singers.”  What do your teammates call you?
CD: “Sometimes they call me Con-Don, because of Conor Donovan. Occasionally it’s ‘old man’ because I’m the oldest one here. Someone asked me if I was 21 a couple days ago.”  Who is your favorite U.S. National Team player?
CD: “Carlos Bocanegra. He’s the center back, which is my position, and he’s been the captain for a while.” What is your favorite movie?
CD: “The Patriot, with Mel Gibson about the Revolutionary War.” What is the favorite place that you’ve traveled?
CD: “I enjoyed going to Paris. I like the city and the city life around Paris. It was a nice place.” What are you most excited about for the Nike International Friendlies?
CD: “Repeating as champions and defending our title.” What is your favorite sport besides soccer?
CD: “I would say basketball. I like watching college basketball and I play with my friends back home when I get the time. I played in middle school but after middle school I just stopped because I had to focus on soccer.” If you could invite any one person to dinner, living or dead, who would you invite and why?
CD: “Just one? There are a lot of people that come to mind. I would probably invite one of my ancestors, like my great-great-great grandmother or grandfather, just to see where my family came from. We are 50 percent Irish and 50 percent Italian. I think I’m more Irish, maybe like 51/49. My mom and dad are from Massachusetts and I think my dad’s side came over from Ireland maybe two generations ago.”