How has your offseason gone so far? What have you been up to?
The offseason has been great so far. I have split my time between Houston and Boston. It was great going home and being able to relax. I really enjoyed the time with my friends and family. However, I could have done without the 18 inches of snow we got in Boston.
Speaking of the snow, now that you spend most of your year in Houston, do you miss the weather in Boston?
I miss it a little bit. My blood has definitely thinned out a lot. I used to be able to shovel snow in a T-shirt and now I can’t go outside without four or five layers on. It’s a little different down here where we have 90-degree weather every single day and then I go back to Boston and it's 20 degrees.
This weekend you fly to England for a training stint with Championship club Nottingham Forest. How did this opportunity come about?
My agent’s brother is the head coach for Nottingham Forest. I have wanted to go there for the past 3-4 years to train, but for a variety of reasons it did not work out. Now that I signed my contract extension, I was able to take advantage of this opportunity, and I'm really excited for it. I’ll be there for two weeks, and I know it will be two weeks of training at a high level as I prepare for our season ahead.
One player who recently signed a contract with Nottingham Forest was former Real Salt Lake and national team forward Robbie Findley. Do you think it will help during the two-week training stint to have another American there with you?
I think so. I have played with Robbie a few times for the national team, and he is a great guy. San Jose defender Brandon McDonald is also heading over there to train. We are either going to stay at a hotel together, or at the house that Robbie is staying at. I also think it will be great for Robbie to have two other Americans there as he begins his training.
What do you do in the offseason to keep yourself in shape?
I go to the gym a lot to maintain the strength in my knee. I don’t lift heavy weights, I just want to work on the core stuff. We train 10 months of the year, and you pick up a lot of wear and tear, so I want to give my body some rest. After the season, I definitely took a few weeks off before heading back to the gym. I’ve started running again as well, but the only way to get match fit is to start playing again, which is why I am extremely excited for this training opportunity.
There has been a lot of change with the Dynamo roster this offseason. As someone who has been with the squad for four years, what do you see your role as heading into the 2011 season?
My mom always taught me to lead by example, not by your mouth, and that is what I plan on doing. I remember my first year with the team; Brian Mullan and Richard Mulrooney were two guys who didn’t talk that much, but they led by example on the field. They were guys that when you had questions, they were there with answers. This will be my fourth season with the team, and if any of the new guys have questions, I’ll be there to help them out.
Describe what Pat Onstad meant to you and to the Dynamo organization?
Pat is a leader, a winner. He knows how to compete, on and off the field. He is a true captain. When he opens his mouth, you listen. When he gives you advice, you listen and sponge up everything he says. Above everything, he is a nice guy. He honestly cares about you as an individual and as an athlete. You can’t say anything bad about Pat, and his departure leaves a big whole in the leadership department this year. Guys, such as myself, will really have to step up to fill that void.
Taking soccer out of the equation, what would be an ideal vacation for you?
Just going home and hanging out with my friends. One of the things I miss more than anything is being around my buddies in Boston. You spend 10 months of the year with the team, and you have your ups and downs with the guys, but there is no replacement for the people you grew up with and the people who were your closest friends growing up. To me, vacation is about being with my friends and family, especially around the holidays.