On Wednesday, I had a chance to come out to Colorado Rapids practice and took in the Lads getting ready for the Seattle Sounders match this Saturday. It was an intense practice and it was quite clear that this team will be ready for the challenge that Seattle will present. There is no quit in this team and there is a sense that they have not given up the hope of making the playoffs.
In addition to observing practice I had the opportunity to chat with Rapids defender Jared Watts about a few things and I found him very humble and down to Earth. The text of that conversation is below, and this is the fourth in our interview series featuring the faces and voices of the Rapids. This includes fans, front office staff, and players and you can read my interviews with Rapids President Tim Hinchey, Rapids Striker Kevin Doyle, and the anatomy of a Rapids supporter.
I want to say a big thank you to Richard Clarke, Senior Director of Communications and Digital Media with the Rapids and Rapids President Tim Hinchey for opening these opportunities for Burgundy Wave.
I hope you enjoy this conversation:
Burgundy Wave: Jared, thank you for taking the time to speak with me today.
Jared Watts: No problem
BW: So before this Saturday we would have asked different questions, but something big happened for you in stoppage time. There have not been too many pure joy moments this year, but the smile on your face after you scored was amazing to see and you didn't look like you knew what to do. What was going through your head?
JW: Yeah, absolutely. Being in that situation this late in the game against a rival team and just being able to make a play. Just being in the right place at the right time. You know, just have something bounce our way. When that ball hit the back of the net, you know, like you said, it was just pure joy. Its what I felt and kind of how I reacted and it was just simplest, you know, I expressed how I was feeling the time and did not hold anything back. It was emotional and it was great to be with the guys and just to celebrate that goal. A good moment for sure
BW: You were drafted as a Central Defensive Midfielder and now you are playing Center Back. How has that transition been for you and how are the positions different?
JW: Right, well when you are in those two positions and you help in each of them you can kind of read the game and you benefit from being in both of those positions and for me being a center back now it is just moving back a bit on the field but it is the same reading of the game and when to step up and help out. But you know, as I have gotten a few more games in I am feeling a bit more comfortable and doing whatever it takes to help out the team. And if that means being a center back or a center mid I am fine with that. Whatever the team needs.
BW: How is the partnership with Bobby Burling going?
JW: I think you have to look at all of the guys in the back with all of the experience and games in MLS that they have is incredible and it is a testament to those guys helping make my transition as easy as they can do. And with Bobby he is always there communicating and trying to put me in the right spots. When you have guys like Drew Moor, James Riley, Michael Harrington and Marc Burch beside you they instill confidence in you. And that is even more helpful and beneficial for the game.
BW: Final Question for you, when did you start playing soccer and how did you get into it?
JW: Well, I am from a small town in North Carolina and there was not a lot of soccer going on and I have two older brothers who were into soccer and I just wanted to play and follow in their footsteps just like any younger brother. I just fell in love with the game and my Dad started coaching me and he had not played much growing up. But you know I loved playing the game and fell in love with it and started playing at 4 or 5 years old and just went from there.
BW: Thanks Jared so much for your time today.
JW: My pleasure