US SoccerUS Soccer

w/ MNT midfielder Steve Ralston

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 20-some questions about personal tastes and pop culture.

"Just some good ol’ boys / Never meanin’ no harm…"

Sure, those lyrics capture the essence of Bo and Luke Duke from the 80’s TV classic "The Dukes of Hazzard," but they’re also appropriate for Missouri native Steve Ralston. [Editor’s note: It’s actually pronounced Muh-zur-uh, but only if you’re barn (accent spelling) there.] The wiry midfielder headed southeast to Miami, where he starred at Florida International University before crossing the state to the "Redneck Riviera" of Tampa, Fla., where he made his name as one of the best flank midfielders in MLS history. A perennial All-Star, Ralston was the Mutiny’s most consistent player from 1996-2001 before landing in New England, where he promptly propelled the Revolution to the 2002 MLS Cup final.

Ralston has had mixed results for the U.S. Men’s National Team, making just a few appearances (a total of seven) across 1997, 1999 and 2000. But he got another call in January and has made the most of his opportunity in this post-World Cup, pre-qualifying time for the USA. Ralston scored his first national team goal in the team’s first game of 2003, and went on to appear in seven games this year. He was particularly impressive in the 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup, in which he dazzled crowds in Boston and Miami with three assists in the team’s third place campaign. All this from a Midwestern guy who proudly lists his favorite fisherman as Denny Brauer (Who knew people even had favorite fishermen?). We asked him about some other things, too. Here goes:


Best U.S. city: L.A., N.Y.C. or Chicago?
"I love the warm weather of L.A., but I also like the Midwest thing, being from Chicago. Since I lived in Florida, I think I've got thinner blood, and I don't think I can survive the cold. So I'll go with L.A. But at the end of my playing days, I'm going to head back to Tampa."

Best weekend trip from St. Louis: Chicago, Lake of the Ozarks or Kansas City?
"Lake of the Ozarks. That's right where my family and I grew up. I've got lots of memories of fishing from there as a kid. Then when we got older, my friends and I would rent a pontoon boat and head toward Party Cove."

Best weekend hangout spot in Tampa: Clearwater Beach, St. Pete or Ybor City?
"Now it would be Clearwater. Ybor is more of a younger, partying crowd. Clearwater is where my wife and I got engaged, so I'm sticking with that."

Worse haircut: mohawk, mullet or bowl cut?
"Bowl cut. It's awful. Since I'm a redneck, some of my friends still have a mullet. And I can't say anything bad about a mohawk, since Clint is sporting one right now."

Best date activity: Movie, Theatre, or Comedy Club?
"It's been a while since I've been to any of them, since I have a kid now. But for my wife it would be the theater, and for me it would be a comedy club. We went down to New York City last month and went to see 'Chicago' on Broadway. That was awesome."

Best way to relax: see a movie, hit the mall or read?
"For me, being out fishing is the best way. I’m not sure if it's relaxing, because I take it pretty seriously, but there is nowhere I'd rather be on a day off."


Best male superhero: Superman, Batman or Spiderman?
"Superman. I grew up owning the Superman Underoos. What can I say? Underoos were huge when I was a kid. It was the best of all the movies, too."

Favorite modern era Charlie’s Angel: Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore or Lucy Liu?
"Probably Cameron Diaz, but they all look like they're fun. Cameron looks like a guy's girl. She looks like she'd go out on the boat with me, put the worm on her own hook, and take the fish off if she caught one."

Coolest veteran actor: Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino or Robert Redford?
"Tough one. I'm going with Robert Redford. I like ‘The Natural,’ ‘A River Runs Through It,’ and some of the older ones he's done."

Best young actor: Brad Pitt, Ed Norton or Colin Farrell?
"Edward Norton is an awesome actor, even though Brad Pitt is from Missouri."


Most Talented Latin Bombshell: Christina Aguilera, Paulina Rubio or Shakira?
"I don't really listen to any of them. Can't think of any Latin country singers either."

Favorite type of rock music: Classic rock, "Modern" rock or Rap rock?
"Still drawing a blank. Does country count?"

Country music: classic, comforting, or corny?

"The best."

Sports & Leisure:

Best St. Louis Cardinal: Stan Musial, Ozzie Smith or Mark McGwire?
"Definitely either Stan or Ozzie. McGwire never won a World Series as a Cardinal. I like Stan as a hitter, and Ozzie as a fielder. It's kind of cheating, but growing up I wanted to be Ozzie Smith. I'd throw a tennis ball against the side of the house. When I grew up and learned about Stan Musial and all his accomplishments, I got a lot of respect for him. Plus I have an autographed picture that says ‘To Steve, from Stan the Man.’"

Best St. Louis Cardinal from the 1985 team that lost to the Royals: Tommy Herr, Joaquin Andujar or John Tudor:
"There were a lot of guys I liked from that team. I was a big fan of Tommy Herr, and how he turned two with Ozzie."

Best men's magazine: Maxim, FHM or GQ?

"Field and Stream. I suppose if I was a dirty old man, I'd be into that stuff. What kind of men are you?"

Coolest X-game: surfing, snowboarding or skateboarding?

"Skateboarding. I grew up a skater. I even have fake teeth from a skateboarding accident. I wish I could still do it. A guy I went to high school with is a professional skateboarder now (Steve Berra)."


Best St. Louis-style pizza: Imo's, Ragazzi's or Lou Baccardi's?
"Imo's, without a doubt. When we play in K.C., there's an Imo's. I've got a lot of guys hooked on it."

Favorite type of non-American food: Mexican, Italian or Chinese/Asian?
"Mexican. My wife and I go quite a bit. We've found some hole-in-the-wall places in Boston that are great. It's not good as a pre-game meal, but earlier in the week I like it."

Best American-invented condiment: ketchup, ranch dressing or spray butter?
"Is mustard American?"

Favorite domestic beer: Budweiser, Michelob or Busch?
"Budweiser: the King of Beers. A lot of my relatives - aunts, uncles and my grandfather - worked for Anheuser-Busch, so that's what I drink."

Worst vice: coffee, cola or junk food?
"I eat junk food. I like fast food in general. I don't eat a lot of cookies. I'm into beef jerky, stuff like that. I even make my own sometimes."


Table of Contents
1) Armchair Midfielder (A Look at the U.S. Women’s World Cup Team)
2) In Threes (w/ MNT midfielder Steve Ralston)
3) Whatever Happened to... (former WNT forward Carin Gabarra)
4) Queries & Anecdotes (w/ U-17 MNT defender Julian Valentin)
5) Mark That Calendar (WNT vs. Group D Opponents – Sept. 21, 25, 28)
6) Superstar!!! (w/ WNT midfielder Shannon Boxx)
7) FAN Point/Counterpoint (Who will win the FIFA Women’s World Cup USA 2003?)
8) "You Don’t Know Jack (Marshall)" (Women’s World Cup Trivia)

Download this issue of Center Circle (.pdf).

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