Tuesday, October 21, 2008

FOR REAL: Kenny Deuchar pt2

8. When it became more obvious that you wanted out of that situation were there other teams that were interested? The difference between MLS and the rest of the clubs was obviously the transfer windows. At the time the transfer windows were over back in the UK. I could come over here because I had been doing well in the Premier League. I was in good form. Actually, after I had scored the two goals against Rangers that Garth was there watching there started to be an awful lot more interest over the next two or three days, but I had heard good things about Garth prior to that game. He was pretty keen obviously after seeing that and wanted to get it done. I was more than happy to try something different even though there were maybe other teams around that maybe would have been able to pay me more money back in Europe. I had already played in the SPL. I felt I needed a fresh challenge. This was an unbelievable opportunity and I grabbed it with both hands.

9. What were your thoughts at that point about coming to the US and playing in MLS? What did you know about MLS? What were your thoughts about it? I had been to the United States quite a few times before. My friend is from Houston. They got the new team and they signed Paul Dalglish. Then they won the MLS Cup and then they won it the second year. That was mostly what I knew was from her and from following what Houston were doing. I hadn’t seen much on the TV. I had seen Houston play New England. I hadn’t seen much of the soccer on the TV back home, but obviously with David Beckham coming over and Blanco signing with the league it seemed like an exciting place to play. The league is getting better and I wanted to challenge myself. Although I’ve been a bit disappointed with how I’ve played personally this season we’ve been doing well as a team and that’s what it’s all about. I’ve played in every league game so far this season and if we have a successful season then it’s been good for the team. So I’ll be delighted with that.

10. What do you see as the major differences between this league and playing in the Scottish Premier League? The style probably doesn’t suit me as well here. The weather is different. You need to keep the ball more. There’s not so many long balls. We don’t cross it as much. Back home I would be a focal point on the team. I would see a lot more of the ball there fighting for things, crosses and things like that. But it’s good for me to play this type of football. I know I have things to improve on. You’ve always got things to improve on and this is good. I’ve just got to try and work hard and bring what qualities I’ve got to try and bring them to this team. Hopefully that bit of variation can be beneficial to what we’re trying to do in the long term.

11. I think you’ve scored two goals this season. Three. I would say four, but they disallowed the one against the Galaxy. Which, while I got an apology it wasn’t really much consolation.
12. Do you think that’s mainly just a style issue and probably fitting in together with the team? I’ve missed chances. My goal scoring form hasn’t been up to what I would expect of myself. But strikers go through that. Luckily Yura Movsisyan’s come in the last few weeks and he’s done incredible for the team and I think has really given us a lift. You know as a striker you’re always going to be reluctant to come off and miss games. The managers like to freshen things up up top. At the same time you’re not that far away from getting another shot. It’s all about the team here. We just have to try and work hard and do our best individually so that we have a collective success.

13. You mentioned Yura and his recent success. Is there another striker that you like to pair with or that you think you’re pretty effective with? I haven’t played with Yura much, but when we played at LA, when Yura came in for Fabian, we obviously had a couple of goals and I laid one on for Yura and that worked well. In the start of the season, unfortunately, Fabian was injured. He’s been injured for quite a bit of the season. When we have played together it’s worked pretty well, albeit he’s scored most of the goals. I think as a team we’ve been quite successful with that partnership up front. As I say, it’s all about keeping things fresh up top. Strikers will go through patches where they’re doing well. Maybe somebody else isn’t doing well. We’ve got a lot of good strikers with different qualities. I’m completely different from Fabian, Yura and Robbie. They’ve got differences between each other as well. That’s the sort of thing you need to mix and depending on what type of opposition you come up against you can change things.

14. You mentioned laying off a ball to Yura in that game. What other things can you do as a target man? I try to get stuck in. Maybe what you see from me isn’t very pretty at times, but it’s really about making it difficult for the defenders. If I’ve got time then, yeah, I mean I’d like to be able to like look good and lay the ball off. Really for me I need to try to make it difficult for defenders. Put defenders under pressure. It’s amazing the number of goals you get in games from defensive mistakes. If you’re causing defenders problems then you might not even be close to them and they might make a mistake. Most games I’ve won on mistakes. It’s really a grind for me. I feel as if I play better second half maybe when I’ve ground down the defense and maybe the spaces start to open up. Hopefully the guys get close to win second balls when I’m battling. I’m not gonna kid myself on that you see pretty football from me. My touch could be better and my finishing could be better. I do different things. It’s really for me it’s about getting stuck in and try to cause as many problems as I can from that point of view.

15. Speaking of pretty football I think you’ve tried at least one bicycle kick at Rice-Eccles. That wasn’t even too far away. I got good contact on it. I’ve scored them in the past. I actually scored one for St. Johnstone last year in one of the cup games that was an overhead kick. Whatever way it comes. Sometimes is goes for you and sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes you hit something that normally you would never hit and it flies in the net. Other times you’ll miss chances that you really should score. You’ve got to try to forget about the ones you miss because the next chance is the most important one.

16. Is it maybe a mistake trying a bicycle kick on the turf? I didn’t even notice it at the time. Maybe that’s because of the adrenaline. You get burns on grass as well. You just don’t want to think about it. I’ve played on worse surfaces in the past. Back home in Scotland when I was younger we didn’t have the turfs. We played on like a red blazed pitch which is worse on the skin that turf. It’s like a clay, but it’s got small stones as well. It’s easy to keep up for the local authorities. They don’t have to cut the grass every week. There was a lot of them when I was growing up. When they did bring in the astro turf they were hard and sand based. They were horrible on the legs and hard. The turfs have definitely got better but I would always prefer to play on grass. And I prefer when it’s wet as well to be honest because the defenders make more mistakes.

17. Someone wanted to know which console you play Fifa on? No, no. No Fifa man. Pro Evolution Soccer. There’s always been a competition between Fifa and Pro Evolution but I always thought that Fifa was too easy. I’m not like a big gamer but Pro Evolution Soccer is definitely head and shoulders above Fifa as far as me and my mates back home are concerned.

18. Who would you rather play for Celtic or Rangers? If either of them was willing to pay me enough money then I would play for either. I wouldn’t prefer to play for either of them if I had that choice and everything was equal then I would take Dundee and Falkirk over Celtic or Rangers any day.

19. If you don’t limit yourself to the SPL what team in the world would you most like to play for besides Real Salt Lake ofcourse? Maybe Real Madrid seeing as we have a partnership with them. I just want to play as high of a level as possible and try and win things and be good for my team, whatever team I play on. Hopefully my teammates know I work hard and the manager appreciates me and the fans as well. You’ve got to know your own limits. You’ve just got to try and work on the things your not good at, but also focus on your strengths.

20. How do you like it here in Salt Lake? What are your thoughts since you’ve been here? Oh, it’s brilliant. Obviously when I first arrived I saw the mountains. It’s a beautiful place. There’s a lot of stuff to do outdoors. Play a bit of golf, fishing. The weather so far has been great. It’s obviously going to get a bit colder now, but we’re coming into the end of the season and that will actually suit me when I’m on the pitch. Hopefully we get a bit of weather that’s cold and wet and I can come into my own.

21. Speaking of golf, I think you got credit from Bill Manning for closing the Rio Tinto deal because of a golf conversation you had. What was that conversation about? We had an appearance down here to meet the guy for Rio Tinto, Bret Clayton. We were up here in the morning. There was four of us. Beckerman, Borchers, Rimando and myself. Mr. Checketts introduced us and said that I was from Scotland. He said I like to play golf in Scotland. I was there for a week playing just last year in St. Andrews. Luckily I had played a few of the courses in St. Andrews and obviously I knew a few places in Scotland. He actually lives in London as well. So I had a bit of conversation with him. It was really just common ground. Something that we could both relate to. It’s always good to have something to be able to talk about. I was just lucky that we had something in common.

22. You seem to be an avid golfer. What kind of score would you shoot on an average course here in Salt Lake? It really depends. I can be terrible. If it’s a course I’ve never played before then who know what it could be. I’m disappointed if I don’t break 90. I played that course at Glendale a few times and I was out with a couple of the boys and I managed to shoot a 73, which was 1 over par. But I think that was a one off. I think I was just holing every putt that was available. I was really feeling good about myself. I thought I had conquered the game, but then the next time I go out I shoot nearly 90 and I’m back to square one again.

23. What other things do you do outside of golf and soccer? Well obviously I’ve got my medicine. I’ve got to keep up with that. Over the past three years I’ve done a post-graduate diploma in sports medicine back home and I’m due to graduate in November. I’m going to do a few courses in that when I go back home as well in medicine just to keep my hand in it. I was working one day a week when I was back home as well. Over here I’ve had a lot of people visiting so we’ve been doing the tours things. We’ve been to Moab, we’ve been floating in the Salt Lake a couple of times with different people. Been up to Park City. Obviously the fishing, the golf. I’ve just enrolled in a Spanish class for the next five or six weeks. That starts next week. It’s a good opportunity to learn something different. I feel a bit ignorant that I haven’t managed to learn much Spanish and they’re trying really hard to speak English. Hopefully I can learn a bit of Spanish and be able to communicate better with the Spanish speaking guys on the team. Maybe they can teach me some more Spanish and I can teach them some English.

24. How does this stadium compare to a stadium in the SPL or in Scotland in general? Well, in Scotland outside of Rangers, Celtic and the national stadium this would be the next best stadium. There’s only one other stadium in Scotland that would top this and that’s the national Rugby stadium. Even the one’s that I played at in England. I played at a couple new stadiums. The weather back in the UK dictates that there’s more cover. It’s difficult to tell until we get the people in here but the atmosphere can be better because the covers really keep the noise in. So some of the new stadiums there are nice but you can’t beat this place for setting and obviously the facilities are excellent as well. I mean it’s up there with some of the best stadiums back home.

25. Finally, how is your fantasy football team doing? I’m 2-2 in the team league. I’m claiming the greatest comeback in the NFL fantasy football history for Monday night. I was playing against Tino Nunez. Going into the Monday night game he had 109 points and I had 80 points. My quarterback hadn’t played. I was 29 points behind. Somehow I managed to come back and win 120 to 116. I think that’s got to be one of the best comebacks.
26. Had you followed American football before coming here? Yeah, I really liked it. We got a lot of it on Sunday. That was basically my Sunday night. Obviously with the time difference the games start at like 7:00 so you get one game. If you wanted to watch the end of the second game your talking like 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning. We normally had training. Sometimes you’d even have a third game that would start at like 1:00 in the morning and run through. I followed it ever since the Bills vs. the Giants Superbowl that was like ‘90 or ‘91. Really when it started to get bigger and it was covered on Sky Sports back home. I would watch it every weekend. Every Sunday night that was where I would be sitting in front of my TV watching the NFL. I wasn’t really up to speed with many of the players and things so maybe I suffered a wee bit during the draft. I mean you only get certain games back home. You don’t see how each players doing every week. You don’t really have the fantasy thing. It’s not as big back home. They run it where it’s just total points over the course of the season. So you pick your team and then you’re just competing against everybody in the country. It’s much better when you get like twelve of your mates and you get to play every week and you’ve got a chance to make the playoffs and that. I’m clinging on to the last playoff spot at the moment. I’ve had a couple of bad breaks over the last few weeks. I probably should be 3-1. I had that disappointment where some weren’t playing because of the hurricane and they weren’t giving me any points. I really like that and it’s good for competition. Tino hasn’t speaken to me this week yet.