Sunday, June 24, 2012

Extra Time: Brent Richards

Triple bonus for you all as I've got some tasty leftovers from interviews with Brent Richards, Gavin Wilkinson and Ryan Kawulok. "Home Grown: Brent Richards" is just the second installment of my series on locally-developed players from across the league and part three is well on its way.

For context's sake, Wilkinson coached Richards from age 14 through Under-18 ball at his own EastSide United FC between playing for, coaching and now generally managing the Timbers. Kawulok (Portland) marked Richards (Washington) in college but played with him on the Timbers' U-23 team for two summers before joining him in the first team this season. Now break out the Tupperware and enjoy!

Brent Richards
Comparing college ball to PDL action:

“I’m not sure. I mean, It’s a little different because some of the PDL teams, they’re not quite as committed. I mean the Timbers PDL team was extremely committed, It was very professional. We had training every day of the week and sometimes it was often at 7 a.m. every day whereas some of the other PDL teams would only have training maybe once or twice a week and they weren’t quite as committed as ours, but in the college game you’ve got every team working and trying its very best, working and training every day as well. So I would say that there’s a little more disparity between the level of PDL teams. Like your worst PDL team isn’t going to be nearly as good as your best PDL team for that reason because of the commitment and sometimes the quality of the players. But the best PDL teams are definitely very high level.”

On how the elite college programs stack up with the best PDL clubs:

“It’s hard to say because you’d get these -- like the college programs were a bunch of guys who would spend nine months of the year together training and then the PDL teams is kind of a mix of all those players where you’re playing against them for nine months of the year and you don’t get a whole lot of time to practice together. So I’d be curious to see how well the best college teams do against the best PDL teams. I think -- I’m not sure.”

On how it felt coming off the field at the end of the Cal FC game:

“It was awful. I mean, as a team we were embarrassed, as an organization we were embarrassed. It was completely unacceptable and we knew that and we felt, we felt embarrassed for the fans, we felt embarrassed for Portland. That can’t happen again.”

On Portland's third jerseys:

“Oh yeah, they’re pretty sweet. I mean ... they’re made in Portland and stuff from recycled stuff whereas you’ve got Seattle whose got the ugliest third kit I think I’ve ever seen, so you know, they’re pretty nice.”

Gavin Wilkinson
On why so many young players get tested on the wing:

“I think that definitely at youth level when you take a good player, quite often they develop deficiencies in their game because you’re only asking them to do what they’re good at because they are so good at it. So by moving them around to various positions, giving them different levels of responsibility, you broaden their scope, you know, and also their resources and their ability level within various positions. It becomes an education tool. On the first team it’s a matter of ‘you’ll fit in where we can fit you to get some games.’ Now at the moment, Brent has good speed, he’s honest in his work ethic and, you know, he gets up and down the field so we’ve played him out wide a little bit, but he’s still played up front. And the same thing goes, it’s part of his education.”

Ryan Kawulok
On Richards as an opponent:

“He never stops running, he’s a hardworking kid, he’s great in the air, he works his tail off, non-stop movement and pretty much he can get a shot if you give him a yard of space. That’s all he needs to get off a quick shot. He’s a good finisher.”

On Richards' go-to runs:

He’s always looking to get on the end of crosses so anytime there’s a crossing opportunity he likes to get to the near post a lot. He’ll fake to the far post and then a really sharp cut to the near post and just try to flick the ball on or get the ball off to get a redirection of the ball which he’s really good at. If you’re not ready for that he’s going to get in front of you.

- Jacob Klinger


dikranovich said...

can we at least get a geoff cameron alert!!!

Greg Seltzer said...

What kind of alert would you like?

dikranovich said...

it has usually been proven to be true that when players are on the verge of a transfer to europe, their game slips off a little. houton have given up three and four goals back to back and it looks like cameron is almost gone.

plus greg, im just trying to draw out some enthusiasm.

Greg Seltzer said...

Here's my dilemma: if I tell everything I know then everyone knows all I know, making it less likely I will be the first to find out what I don't yet know.

Long story short, the alert you're asking for is coming. I promise.

dikranovich said...

i sure hope italy makes england look like scotland today.