One of several new players this season, midfielder Tony McManus kicks off a Q&A series featuring the new editions to the Timbers' 2009 roster. Tony opens up about about continuing his career in Portland and what makes him tick in this pre-season Q&A.
Portland Timbers: What did you know about the city of Portland prior to signing with the Timbers? What are you looking forward to the most about being a member of the Timbers?
Tony McManus: The city of Portland is one of the cleanest and most beautiful cities that I have ever visited. I am looking forward to seeing the countryside, mountains and lakes and just live up the freshness. I also want to see and meet a lot of new people. On the field, I’m looking forward to playing in front of the amazing fans and crowds in Portland and trying to help get this organization to the top of the USL First Division.
PT: What things do you look forward to or don’t look forward to about preseason?
TM: I look forward to playing again first and foremost, and putting on a Timbers kit. I look forward to meeting a bunch of guys who will be a new extension to my family. It can be difficult to learn to play with an entire new group of guys and having to learn each one’s styles and habits - but when those are learned it can be so rewarding. I do not look forward to the aches and pains in my feet, legs, and body that are attributed to long hard sessions …
PT: Describe the most memorable goal of your soccer career so far?
TM: It was during my rookie year, and I was on loan to the Virginia Beach Mariners. We were already up 4-2 when I scored, but it meant so much because it was a Fox Soccer Channel game, my family was there, my girlfriend at the time was in town, and a few local friends were there. That just brought so much joy to me. I received a ball right inside the 18 and struck it first time into the upper 90, and you better believe that I celebrated like it just won the World Cup!
PT: Who is your favorite soccer player(s) to watch/keep track of and why?
TM: My favorite player ever to watch was Zidane – hands down. He is the greatest, smoothest and most skillful player to ever play the game. Currently, I enjoy watching Steven Gerrard because I am a huge Liverpool fan and he is such a classy player. He has great skill, but the thing that sets him apart from so many others is his desire and heart to win the game and how he works himself to death for the cause.
PT: Who has been the most influential person(s) in your life, soccer or non-soccer related?
TM: I can’t narrow it down to just one person. Many people have influenced my life and molded me into the person and the soccer player I am today – so I have to give a list. The first is not a person, but my creator Jesus Christ. Others who have influenced me, are my entire family, my high school coach David Kiser, George Tasedan and Zito Aur from my club days and my college coach Mike Getman. All of these people played a huge part in helping me to develop my skills, my character, and the confidence in myself to strive to be the best and work the hardest.
Click here to learn more about Tony and his career.
Coming up next: Johan Claesson ...