Portland Timbers defender Andy Thoma has been a steady presence on the T2 backline while on loan in 2015. In his rookie campaign, he has appeared in all 16 league matches and ranks among the team's leaders in minutes played. Calm and collected by nature, Thoma spoke about the transition to the professional levels, being able to continue his playing career in the Pacific Northwest and playing in front of the Timbers Army at Merlo Field in this Q&A.
Now a few months into your rookie season, what have been the biggest changes from college game?
“Definitely just the speed of play. It’s a lot quicker, everyone is moving the ball faster. I was really excited to stay in the Pacific Northwest and so far Portland been spectacular, so I’m really happy to be here.”
How is it been playing again with some fellow Huskies in Brent Richards and Taylor Peay?
“It’s always a blast. I was good friends with them back at school and it is fun to come out and be able to play with them again.”
How would you describe the game-day experience at Merlo Field?
“It’s a lot of fun. The fans are incredible, they’re yelling the whole game, and they’re right next to you. Especially being along the sideline for one of the halves, it’s just a great feeling to be right there, right in front of them, getting to play.”
Long way from your hometown in New Mexico. What have you discovered around Portland during your time in town?
“It’s nice being in a bigger city. There’s just a lot more to do; More restaurants nearby, there’s always something to do every day. Especially like having water around where I could go fishing or just go sit out by a lake or river. It’s awesome.”