Click "Read More" for the full interview.
Q. After a down season where the club failed to make the playoffs, what are the positives that you guys can take from your last season in the NASL, to the first season in the MLS?
A. It was a tough start to last season. After the midway point in the season, we began to turn the team around thanks to a number of different reasons. From last season, we were able to establish a number of different positives. Obviously, we were able to bring along a number of guys from that NASL team and move to MLS with them. Having guys that have been around the club for any amount of time is vital when moving up a level. It establishes a sense of pride in the city and the club. Myself, Sinisa, Camara, and whoever else moves along with the team from last year will certainly help establish that pride immediately with the other guys we have coming in.
Q. What are the strengths of the of the Impact off of the pitch? IE. what do you think of the front office/ownership/city/and fans?
A. The front office has done a tremendous job in this transition period, as well as the period leading up to it. It is not easy to build a club that so many people can be proud to represent, both on the team and in the community. I believe they have done this. Of course, it starts with the president, Joey Saputo, and his dedication to building a winner. After him, you have to respect the job Matt Jordan and Nick DeSantis have done, in not only building the club's tradition, but bringing in quality people to help lead the it, in the likes of Jesse Marsch and his staff. When you see how quality of an organization it is, it is not hard to understand why the fan support is so good. I'm very excited to see how the fan's react to the future signings of the club and the MLS experience coming next year!
Q. What is the biggest similarity and biggest difference between the cities of Cleveland and Montreal?
A. Their is a huge difference in the two cities! Cleveland is a hard-working, blue collar town and the people who live there always appreciate what they have and hold relationships dear to them. Cleveland is my home and my favorite city in the world, just because my family is from there and I developed so many quality relationships in my time there. I will always call that my hometown. Montreal is special in it's own way. I have told many people over the past couple months that when you go to Montreal it is impossible to not fall in love with the city. The people are exceptionally pleasant and accommodating. It is unlike any other city in North America that I have been to, and I can't think of a place I'd rather be playing soccer at this point in my career.
Q. What are your thoughts on new head coach Jesse Marsch?
A. I think Jesse was a very smart hire for the club. His knowledge of the league we are entering will be a huge asset to the club. I think he has also brought in quality assistants to help him in his first head coaching job. Mike Sorber has a wealth of knowledge of North American soccer. Preston Burpo spent many years in both the NASL and then MLS. Mauro has that connection to the club that will instill pride into the staff, along with his extensive playing resume. Head coaches need to rely on assistants a lot to be successful, and I think Jesse understands that, and has built his staff well to this point.
Q. How would you explain to the Montreal Impact fans what your playing style is like, what you bring to the locker room and what you are like off the pitch?
A. I have had so many people over the years tell me that I am unlike any goalkeeper they have played with. My personality is more low-key, as opposed to the typical, crazy goalkeepers that many are accustomed to. In doing that, I am able to control my emotions throughout the game and steady mentally prepared throughout matches. I am not an intimidating goalkeeper with my size, so I need to rely on my athleticism and focus to carry me.
Q. Going off of that last question, what do you think are the best qualities you bring to the team?
A. My best asset is my demeanor. While some coaches want people who show a ton of emotion and demand a lot of attention, I have always found it better for myself to keep an even keel; never getting too high or too low in my emotions. This has transferred well into the locker room throughout my career with establishing relationships and respect from other teammates.
Q. Are you a diehard fan of any teams outside of the US, specifically the EPL?
A. I wouldn't say I'm a diehard fan of anything. My favorite team to watch and support is Arsenal. I have always loved the way they play under Wenger and I agree with the way the club is run from the youth system on up. I really got attached to them when I was in high school and they had those great teams, especially the one that went unbeaten in league play for the whole season. Although they have had some ups and down over the past few years, they have been putting together some good results so far this year. I still don't think they are on the same level as Man City or Man Utd. at this point though.
Like the interview? Think another player or coach would make for a great interview about soccer in Canada/Montreal Impact? Leave your thoughts in the comments below and/or hit me up on Twitter at @MLSinMONTREAL.