The call started with some general comments by Thierry, he mentioned knowing that playing against the champions is going to be a difficult match, that RSL plays very well at home, and hopes that they can play a good game. I was lucky enough to be first up in the question queue and I asked:
Q: What has the adjustment to MLS from playing in leagues like La Liga and the EPL, how is the quality and nature of the play in MLS?
A: It was difficult to arrive in mid-season, without a pre-season, I arrived from my holiday and had to play straight away, so without having any preparation has been the most difficult to deal with. The league is competitive and it is very hard to play away from home, everytime we play a team they are trying to play football.
The second question was from James Edwards with Deseret News, who asked about playing on a FIFA date with many players from both sides missing. A great question and the answer was that TH14 has never had to deal with this in the past as the other leagues he has played in all take the FIFA dates off.
A couple more questions and answers after the jump, including my second question of the call and the link to the audio recording of the interview:
The next question was from Randy Davis on behalf of mlssoccer.com, he asked about Thierry's perception of Real Salt Lake and what he knows about the players. His answer was that he knows a lot about the team, and that he perfers not to talk about individual players (smart guy). He mentioned that he did watch the MLS Cup match last year and that he knows they play well organized and that they fight for each other, and that you have to give them respect. I loved that he mentioned that you can have great players on your team but what makes the difference to is to be a team and to compete as a team and Real Salt Lake is a team like that.
One of the guys from ESPN asked about his scoring and if he was 100%, it was interesting that TH said he wasn't and likely would not be 100% this season. His priority is not getting hurt, but he wants to be able to compete and he will manage his fitness.
It seemed as if there was a fairly small group on the call so I got to ask a second question:
Q: Can you describe how the fans and facilities are different than those in Euorpe?
A: It has been amazing, it has been all good, people were telling me the facilities would not be like they were in Europe, but I has found the fields, facilities, and atmosphere to be on a par with those in Europe. It has been a great pleasure to see.
OK, due to some restrictions in size with my email server I lost the last 10-15 seconds of the interview when I emailed myself the file. I did try to clean out some breaks in the call to make it a smaller file, anyhow. Here is the audio from the interview with TH14.
I have to say that I was very impressed you can tell that this is a player who is at ease with the media and knows how to answer questions without causing any controversy. I am hoping that he will be as happy and friendly after 90 minutes of getting to know Mr. Olave.
OFF MY SOAPBOX