Brendan King Q&A: SuperDraft second rounder talks about joining the Timbers
This past Thursday at the 2012 MLS SuperDraft, along with first round selection Andrew Jean-Baptiste out of Univ. of Connecticut, the Timbers selected the young Notre Dame midfielder Brendan King in the second round. Overlapping at Notre Dame with fellow Fighting Irish alum Bright Dike, King had six goals and 14 assists in 81 games in South Bend, IN. Prior to his collegiate career, King also was a member of the US U17 national team that participated in the 2007 World Cup. With preseason camp approaching, King is ready to show his ability.
You played soccer collegiately at Notre Dame. What was your most memorable moment while playing for the Fighting Irish?
I think my freshman year, playing against the University of West Virginia, and we needed a win to win the Big East regular season. I scored the game winning goal with 20 minutes left in the game. We won 1-0. It’s always good to come in and contribute as a freshman and as a new player. You’re not really expected to do so much, but when you can, it’s pretty cool.
While at Notre Dame, you played two seasons with fellow Timbers player Bright Dike. What was it like playing with Bright?
Dike was the ultimate goal scorer in college. Big, strong guy, and he was our go-to guy and the leading scorer his junior and senior season. If we needed a late goal, we could always go to him. Bright is a funny guy. We got along pretty well; he’s a real nice guy, a kind hearted guy. He would just run past and through people, but then run back and make sure they were okay.\
Your father, Tom King, played in the original North American Soccer League for the Tampa Bay Rowdies. What has he told you about playing back then?
He played for two years, and he always describes those two years as some of the best years of his life. Him having gone through the whole process before, he’s always been able to give me little tidbits of advice and how the transition is from college to the pros.
What was your initial reaction when you heard you were selected by the Portland Timbers in the SuperDraft?
I was with my family and my girlfriend, and I didn’t really expect it at all. But when I heard my name called, I was almost in shock. My family and girlfriend were all around screaming. I was extremely excited.
What did you know about Portland before being drafted?
I’ve been to Portland in 2007, when I played with the U-17 national team. Thinking back, it seemed like an amazing place to be. There’s a real cool energy around the city. But other than that, I didn’t know much.
What aspects are you most excited about playing in the MLS and for the Timbers?
The atmosphere of the game. It seems like the Timbers have the best fan base in the MLS. I’m really excited to go to a city where soccer is a big part. You’re not going to get that everywhere. It will be great to be in an environment where I will get better every day with great players and a great coaching staff, and I’m really excited about it.
How would you describe your style of play? How do you think that will transition from college to the professionals?
I’m an attack-minded midfielder. I’m traditionally a left wing, but I’d say I’m pretty versatile, and can play anywhere in the midfield. I’m pretty technically sound, and pretty good on the dribble. My range of passing is pretty good. It’s obviously a lot different playing in college, because the speed of play is slower. I can adjust to speed of play, make sure I’m sharp, and make sure I’m at training every day. Those things are important when transitioning from college to the pros.