US SoccerUS Soccer

w/ MNT defender Greg Vanney

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 Threes” 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.

This month we give the rapid-fire treatment to U.S. Men’s National Team defender Greg Vanney, who is part of the 23-man squad set to compete in the Confederations Cup this week over in France, where he just completed his second season in the French First Division with F.C. Bastia.  After missing the 2002 World Cup due to an injury he suffered just four days after learning that he had made the final roster, he’s right back at left back for the U.S. with a chance to make his mark in what could be seen as something of a consolation World Cup for him personally.

The experienced defender, who just turned 29 last week, had a stellar MLS career before heading off to Europe, culminating in his helping the Galaxy to three Cup finals in 2001, winning the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and the CONCACAF Champions Cup but falling in the MLS Cup. Although a native of Tempe, Ariz., Vanney’s adult roots are in Los Angeles, where he was an original member and two-time All-Star with the Galaxy and an All-American at UCLA.

Personal taste/style:
Best U.S. city: L.A., N.Y.C. or Chicago?
“N.Y.C.  Everything is close together, and it's more of a party city in general.  L.A.'s the best place to live, and the worst city.  New York is the best city and the worst place to live.”

Best part of California: NorCal, SoCal or Baja?
“SoCal, because of the beautiful weather, great beaches, and proximity to civilization. And there's more interesting 'scenery’ walking around.”

Best stadium in the L.A. area: Rose Bowl, Home Depot Center or Memorial Coliseum?
“Home Depot Center, for sure.  I haven't been there, but it's built specifically for soccer, so it's an automatic.  Plus, you risk your life every time you go to the Coliseum.  And you're within smelling range of USC at the Rose Bowl.” [Editor's note: Apparently, the UCLA-USC rivalry never dies.]

Worse haircut: mohawk, mullet or bowl cut?
“Definitely the mullet.  The mohawk is a fashion statement, in a way.  Some people can look okay in a bowl cut.  But the mullet? Never cool.”

Best date activity: Movie, Theatre, or Comedy Club?
“I'd fall asleep in a theater.  A comedy club is too much of a 'friend' environment.  The right kind of movie gets it done.  Plus, you can get away with a lot more in the dark.”

Best male superhero: Superman, Batman or Spiderman?
“Superman.  There's nothing cooler than flying.”
Best female superhero: Wonder Woman, Catwoman or Silver Storm?

“I have to go with Wonder Woman, because I always thought she was hot growing up.”

Favorite modern era Charlie’s Angel: Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore or Lucy Liu?
Cameron Diaz--tall, blond, long legs.  Ever since ‘There's Something About Mary,’ when she demonstrated she was into sports, I've been a fan.”

Coolest veteran actor: Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino or Robert Redford?
“DeNiro.  When he's a tough guy, he's cool.  And when he's a funny guy, he's still cool.”

Best young actor: Brad Pitt, Ed Norton or Colin Farrell?
Ed Norton, with Pitt a close second.  I can't think of a movie of theirs I haven't liked.”

Most Talented Latin Bombshell: Christina Aguilera, Paulina Rubio or Shakira?
“If by 'talented' you mean hot, Christina Aguilera.  She's ‘Dirrrty’.”

Favorite type of rock music: Classic rock, "Modern" rock or Rap rock?
“Classic rock. I'm a little too mellow for the hard stuff.”

Best modern band of the last 20 years: Nirvana, Radiohead or U2?
U2.  For the same reason as above.”

Best soft rock singer-songwriter: Dave Matthews, John Mayer or Jack Johnson?
“Dave Matthews, because he's the best and most proven out of all of them.  The others are one-CD wonders for now.  But I think they'll be very popular.”

Country music: classic, comforting, or corny?
“I love it.  Listening to it is my way of relaxing.”

Sports & Leisure:
Best Lakers Team: Wilt's Lakers, Magic/Kareem's Lakers or Shaq/Kobe's Lakers?

“As a preface, I don't really care for the Lakers.  But the Magic/Kareem era was the best, because the supporting players were also All-Star caliber, like James Worthy, Byron Scott, Michael Cooper…”

Best men's magazine: Maxim, FHM or GQ?
GQ.  I actually like to read articles, and GQ is interesting.  I'm also into style.”

Coolest X-game: surfing, snowboarding or skateboarding?
“Surfing.  I'm impressed with the balance and the difficulty that comes along with surfing.  I've never been able to do it, not that I've really tried.”

Best way to relax: movie, shop or read?
“Read.  Shopping takes too much energy, and sometimes I can't sit still long enough to watch a movie.  Right now I'm finishing up a book on the business side of Manchester United.”

Favorite soccer kick: free kick, penalty kick or corner kick?
“PK.  It's almost a sure goal every time, if you're any good at them.  I used to take them for the Galaxy.”

Best food with French in the name: french fries, french bread or french toast?
“French toast. I grew up on cinnamon and sugar on my french toast. As a kid, it's all I had for breakfast.”

Best French signature food: escargot, caviar or crepes?
“Crepes. I don't touch the other stuff.”

Favorite type of non-American food: Mexican, Italian or Chinese/Asian?
“Mexican. I'm a Southwestern guy from Arizona and love that Mexican food.”

Best American-invented condiment: ketchup, ranch dressing or spray butter?
“Ketchup. I could go through a bottle of ketchup in a day.”

Worst vice: coffee, cola or junk food?
“Lately it's been coffee.  I'll drink a mocha anything.”

Table of Contents
1) Armchair Midfielder (Back in the U.S.S.A.: The Big Six Venues)
2) In Threes (w/ MNT defender Greg Vanney)
3) DeeJay for a Day (w/ U-17 MNT forward Guillermo Gonzalez)
4) Queries & Anecdotes (w/ WNT forward Mia Hamm)
5) Mark That Calendar (MNT vs. Group B – France 2003)
6) Superstar!!! (w/ MNT midfielder Eddie Lewis)
7) FAN Point/Counterpoint (Who will win the 2003 Confederations Cup?)
8) "You Don’t Know Jack (Marshall)" (1999 Confederations Cup Trivia)

Download this issue of Center Circle (.pdf).

We want feedback. No, really. Positive, negative, indifferent--we take all kinds. Reach us at: