For starters, how did you spend your offseason?
I got away for about a week in the beginning, and spent the majority of the offseason in New York getting some free time that I really didn’t get during the season to see the city and spend some time with friends there. I also got to home to California for Christmas, spend some time with my family there, and then head back and start preparing for the new season.
This marks your first preseason since coming on board after that midseason trade last year. Does it have a little different feel to it now that you can start right out of the gates with the team and get to know some of the new guys?
It’s actually my first preseason since I’ve been in MLS where I came in on the first day. Every other year it’s been January camps and things like that with the National Team, so it’s nice to be here from the start and spend time with the guys and go through things that we’re all going through together. Obviously that’s what makes you a better team; to suffer together. But David [Red Bulls fitness coach] has a good hold on what it is we’re doing and monitoring our loads and making sure that everybody knows to trust their own body more than anything and make sure that the most important thing is that we’re ready for the first game day.
You mention the whole “suffering” thing, and I know it was tongue-in-cheek when you said it, but you joked on Twitter the other night that you were so sore that you were forced to watch horrible movies while lying in bed. Is that a typical start to the preseason though as players look to get their legs under them?
Yeah, definitely. It wasn’t too bad on the first day, but it definitely wasn’t either though. We’re all going through it together and we’re all excited to be here and I think everybody is excited to get some of these first days out of the way so we can get the ball out and start playing some real soccer stuff.
Overall, how are you feeling now that the team is back out here, you’re getting some reps in, and we edge closer to the start of the season?
This year was probably the first time that I’ve taken time off for my body. It’s always been jumping from one thing to the next, including offseasons with the National Team stuff. So this was the first year that I had a true chance to rest my body and recover, so I’m coming in really fresh and feeling good and excited about the season.