Tuesday, January 20, 2009



They say that first impressions are important, and if that's the case I can see why Garth Lagerway and Jason Kreis decided to draft Jean Alexandre. The 5'11", 190 pounder from tiny Lynn University may lack the pedigree of some of the other top picks, but he is built like a brick house and he is as humble and down-to-earth as you could ask for.

The pick was the #2 player on RSL's draft board (behind Michael Lahoud who was selected at #9 by Chivas). In addition, the RSL staff is convinced that he would have been selected shortly after #12 if RSL had not snatched him up, likely by LA at #19. Jason Kreis mentioned that many teams commented to him after the draft that they were prepared to select him with their next selection. It's also clear that his physical ability and versatility, as well as backgound checks were important factors in his selection. Kreis explained that his work ethic, and somewhat still raw ability leave him with a huge upside.

In addition, with small roster sizes and the constraints of the salary cap it's crucial to have players that can play several positions and Alexandre can play just about all of them. Below is a transcript of the Q&A session. This was done in a roundtable format with Michael C. Lewis and myself peppering him with questions (with one snuck in by Trey Fitzgerald).

Lewis: You were a young boy when you came from Haiti. How was that?

Alexandre: Just simple immigration. My father came two years before us, established himself and then got all of us to come over.

Lewis: What did he do for a living?

Alexandre: Oh, he was a garbage man.

Davis: How old were you when you came over?

Alexandre: Nine.

Lewis: He went straight to Florida?

Alexandre: Yes.

Lewis: I assume you played soccer as a young boy.

Alexandre: Yes, Haiti unlike the other islands was colonized by France, and France don't play cricket so soccer was the sport that was brought over to us. The super, super wealthy play like tennis, but the majority play soccer.

Davis: So how did you end up at Lynn University?

Alexandre: Through high school, and played club soccer in the area and that's how I got known around the area.

Lewis: We are told that you can play just about any position, which do you prefer?

Alexandre: Center mid, because you get more of the ball and you kind of direct traffic. Sometimes if the game needs slowed down you slow it down, if the pace needs to be higher, then you speed it up.

Davis: Any sense of where you fit in with this team?

Alexandre: To be honest I feel like a question like that is the coaches choice. Where does he see me playing with the team? {Kreis: Good answer}

Kreis: We are going to start off with him in the midfield.

Davis: Your last season you played a lot at forward, was that just a need with that team.

Alexander: Yeah, we recently got a new coach and he didn't have time to recruit a center forward, so I played that position.

Lewis: How much had you known about RSL or Major League Soccer before?

Alexandre: I knew quite a lot because some of the games are televised on ESPN and I had access to watch the games.

Davis: When it came to the draft, did you know of the interest by RSL?

Alexandre: Yeah, I knew that they were interested. When it happened I was still shocked. I don't know my reaction, I didn't know if I was happy, sad or what. I was just frozen. It was really one of those moments, you know.

Davis: So were you expected to be picked in the first round?

Alexandre: No, I knew they had shown interest in me. It was still like a surprise to me.

Davis: Were there other clubs that were interested?

Alexandre: Yeah, before the combine there were other clubs that were interested: San Jose, Colorado, and during the combine LA Galaxy started getting interested and then the Kansas City Wizards were interested too.

Fitzgerald: What's the combine like when you are playing with like 60 guy's and you're playing with different pieces everyday, do you think it's difficult to be evaluated?

Alexandre: It's difficult but at the same time coaches just look for the simple thing. I think sometimes the mistakes that these guys make they try to make the difficult pass, and over-impress and sometimes they get a bad look I guess.

Lewis: What do you think you most impressed these coaches with?

Alexandre: I don't know. I wouldn't say that the combine was the best football that I played. I thought I did okay. I think the game that I played against them (RSL –vs- Lynn scrimmage in 2008 preseason) – I played good against them. I was excited to play against a professional team, and RSL are a good team. I was focused. I think that performance I did good enough to get their interest.

Davis: What strengths do you think you bring to potentially help this team?

Alexandre: I would say my physical presence in midfield. I'm a real good ball winner. I can win balls in the air, on the ground, just my physical presence.

Davis: What about are there some weaknesses that you need to work on at this level?

Alexandre: Oh I have so many of them. Everytime I look in the mirror I never see a perfect guy. I never really like credit myself. I'm probably one of the hardest persons who judge themselves. I have so much weaknesses. It's kind of embarrassing to name them all right here.

Lewis: You must not have that many, they drafted you in the first round.

Alexandre: I feel that I do. I feel there is so much room for improvement.

Davis: Do you know any of the current players on RSL?

Alexandre: Yeah, I'm pretty familiar with the guys on the team. These guys are not first year players. These guys have been in the league and I'm familiar with them. They have talent.

Davis: Are you ready to make the move to this weather?

Alexandre: I have to be. I cannot live my whole life in Florida. This is my first time seeing snow, and so far I like it. {Davis: That doesn't last long.} {Kreis: oh yes it does. I love the snow.}