A member of the Portland Timbers since the club’s inaugural MLS campaign in 2011, goalkeeper Jake Gleeson has continued his development with T2 this season. A towering presence in goal, Gleeson spoke about his career, if he would play another position on the field, his dream PK showdown and more in this Q&A.
You have several teammates on T2 whom you’ve been teammates with before at different teams. While a global game, soccer can be a small world.
You never know what happens in the soccer world. I can’t say you’d expect to end up with this many guys, this many friends. It’s always nice to see them out on the field.
Is there a moment in your career that you can point to as a defining moment that really pushed you forward to pursue playing at a high level?
Probably the U-17 World Cup. It was a big one for me. After that I got trials over in England [including one with Manchester United]. I kind of got a bit of a name - not really at all [laughs] - but I got a little bit of a taste of the professional game and it made me want more.
If you could play a position on the field other than goalkeeper, what would it be?
Striker, of course. I think everyone would say that.
You have the opportunity to try and stop a penalty from one of your favorite players. Who is the player and who would win that matchup?
Let me think about that one for a second… I’ll go [Eric] Cantona, because he’s sick. And absolutely not, I would not [win that matchup]. He would Panenka or whatever it’s called; make me look like an idiot.
You’ve been in Portland for a while. Where are your favorite go-to spots?
I like Mexican food so Cha Cha Cha is always a good one. Pok Pok over on the East side is one of my favorites too.