Five Questions with Defender David Horst

The pride of Pine Grove, PA comes to Portland


Photo Credit: 
Photo by Michael Stringfield

Before the holiday, we tracked down and got acquainted with new Timbers defender David Horst, who was selected from Real Salt Lake in November's MLS Expansion Draft. Horst, 25, spent the 2010 season on loan with the Puerto Rico Islanders, leading the club to the USSF D-2 Championship. Interestingly enough, Horst played against the Timbers' in their final match at PGE Park last year.

1. You played the majority of the 2010 season with the Puerto Rico Islanders, on loan from Real Salt Lake. What kind of impression did you take from playing in PGE Park against the Timbers last season? What do you know about Portland? What is your perception of the city?
David Horst: When I came to Portland with Puerto Rico, it was the second time I came to play in PGE Park and both times it was very exciting. The atmosphere was definitely the best that I played in when I was on loan in the USL. The Timbers Army was by far one of the coolest things to see all year. They had flares and chants and it made me very excited to play soccer. The support the team had from their fans was amazing. Now I don’t know much about Portland but every time I ask someone about the city I hear how beautiful it is and how much I’ll love it. I’m very excited to get out there in a few weeks and experience the city.

2. You also helped the Islanders to the USSF D-2 Pro League championship last year. What did you learn from that championship run and how can that experience help you this season with the Timbers?
DH: The championship I won with Puerto Rico was my second championship in two years. The year before I was part of RSL’s run to the MLS championship. What I learned from both championships is no matter what seed you are in the playoffs, you can still win the championship. Both RSL and Puerto Rico were the lowest seed coming into the playoffs and everyone had written us off except ourselves, and we knew that if we believed in ourselves then anything was possible. The experience I gained from just being in the locker room with RSL was so valuable because I’ve seen the attitude and work ethic it takes to win a championship. I took that attitude with me to Puerto Rico and there I gained the experience of playing in a championship run, learning the things it takes to win on the field.  When I step on the field in Portland, I’m going to have that same attitude and work ethic and do whatever takes to win games and I hope that other players will do the same.

3. What was your initial reaction to finding out the Timbers selected you in the MLS Expansion Draft?
DH: I very much needed a fresh start in my career and when I heard over the radio that Portland selected me in the expansion draft I was very excited. I’ve heard how great a city Portland is and I’ve seen firsthand the support that the team has at games. There is a fantastic soccer tradition in Portland so I was very eager to become part of that and contribute to it.

4. You grew up in rural Pennsylvania – Pine Grove to be exact. What can you tell us about your hometown? What was it like growing up there? How is it different than bigger cities like Portland?
DH: Well my hometown is extremely small. The total population of our area is less than 5000 people. It has one stop light and it is a place where everyone knows everyone. It is certainly not a place where you would expect a professional soccer player to come from. Growing up here I didn’t get much opportunity for soccer so I had to drive an hour and sometimes an hour and a half just for practice and to play against quality competition. It is definitely a great place to grow up, though, and the whole town has always supported me with my soccer career.

Editor's note: Pine Grove Mayor Kimberly Brown-Zerbe has posted on the Timbers Facebook page about how the squad now has 5,000 new fans in Pennsylvania, with her, of course, being the biggest one.

5. What do we need to know about David Horst off the field? What do you do in your free time?
DH: Well soccer takes up most of my time. In my free time, though, I’m trying to finish up my degree in Civil Engineering through Old Dominion University. I’ll be taking two classes next semester and one in the summer and I’ll be able to graduate. Besides that I like to relax and watch movies or play recreational sports, such as golf and ping pong. Now I’m not saying I’m very good at these sports but I’m definitely working on them.