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January 13, 2011 at 3:46 PM

Having a chat with Sounders FC’s top pick Michael Tetteh

UPDATE: 3:46 p.m. The rest of the transcript has been filled in by team-released quotes.

Earlier this afternoon the media got to catch up with Sounders FC draftee Michael Tetteh, pronounced almost how it looks, Teh-teh. Here are some of the questions and answers from the that teleconference. I’ll update this throughout the day:

* * *

(Q: I’ve seen you listed as a midfielder and also a potential left back, where can you play and what’s your playing style?)

Tetteh: “Back in college I played different positions. One of the reason I was signed to GA (Generation Adidas) is I’m left-footed and play a lot on the left side. A lot of people and a lot of coaches that I’ve talked to have looked at me as a left back because I’m able to go down the field a lot and I defend pretty well. I think they’re going to look at me at a left-sided position: left back or left mid.”

(Q: What are your expectations coming in a rookie?)

Tetteh: “My goal is go there and hard work and earn a starting spot. Obviously they have great players at Seattle. What I want to do is learn but also I have a strong thing with me, sitting on the bench. Obviously I’m a rookie and I have to prove myself on the field, but my goal is to go there and learn from the other guys and get on the field. With the style of play that Seattle plays, I think it’s going to be a very good fit for me and I can see myself going in and starting.”

(Q: Was this a dream of yours when you came to the U.S.?)

Tetteh: “When I came to high school here I lived in Santa Barbara so I went down and saw the UCSB soccer team a lot. Obviously I got recruited over there. Major League Soccer something I watch a lot on TV. I don’t watch a lot of TV but one thing I watch is soccer. I watch the Premiership and the American league. My dream from high school has been to one day play in the MLS. Obviously I’ve worked very, very hard. I’ve met so many people that have affected my life and helped me throughout the years. This is a perfect dream coming true for me. I couldnt be more happy to be a part of this Seattle club.”

(Q: On how UCSB prepared him MLS…)

Tetteh: “I am very, very excited for that. I have seen Seattle on T.V. and with their fans and everything. Before games their fans march to the stadium and everything and it’s actually a tradition that I have been fortunate to have at UCSB. At UCSB, we have the best fans in college soccer. […] Every game we average like 6,000 and when we have good teams come in we get like 15,000, 16,000 people, 11,000 people to the games. So that has helped me a lot, playing in front of all those crowds, taking that transition to Seattle obviously Seattle gets a lot of fans to their games. I’m actually very, very excited about that and I think it’s going to be very good for me.”

(Q: On his experience with the Right to Dream Academy…)

Tetteh: “Right to Dream is what made me who I am today. When I was 11 years old I left home to go on a trial. Our coach came from England and I heard on the radio there was going to be a tryout so I went. I was one of the 18 guys that were picked. I lived in the academy for six years. Obviously now the academy has expanded and there’s so many things going on but when it started it was just a few of us and we had to go through a lot of stuff. But I was fortunate to have a good coach and a good staff and everyone who was around us at that time was very, very impressive and has helped us, basically taught us everything that we knew. We went through all those experiences and we were together, the 18 of us were together and we played, lived in the same house. Everything that we did was about soccer. Right to Dream is the reason why I am here in the States and I am very grateful for everything that they have done for me.”

(Q: What was the process of coming to America from Ghana?)

Tetteh: “Our academy played at the University of Ghana and the coach of UC Santa Barbara came down and saw us play. He was very impressed, came down to the States and spoke to the high school that I went to and I was given the opportunity to come here on a full scholarship […] I worked really hard over there and now here I am living my dream.”

(Q: Are there mixed emotions on leaving UCSB?)

Tetteh: “Santa Barbara has been a great place for me. I am a very independent guy and there’s a lot of responsibilities that I have to take care of in terms of my family. I am supporting my family. I have people at home that I am supporting. I left home when I was very, very young to come to the States. I haven’t seen my family in six years. This is something I have wanted to do my whole life is play professional soccer. UCSB has been great. I have had so many experiences at UCSB. It has built me up as a player, as a person, everything. I’m going to miss it but this is something that I have to do. […] Even though I’m going to miss it, I’m looking forward to moving on and doing things in my life because, again, I have a lot of responsibility in my life to take care of and I have things I want to do for myself and my family in Ghana. So it won’t be that bad.”

(Q: On his family in Ghana…)

Tetteh: “I grew up in a small village [Odumasi] and my dad got a job in the city [Accra] so we moved to the city when I was very young. But now my mom, my dad and my little sister are back living in the village and my older brother lives in the city. So I have two brothers and two sisters. I haven’t seen my family in six years. I love them to death and everything but there’s just things I have to take care of and my goal is to go home this year to see them. I actually haven’t told them about what’s happening. I haven’t told them I got a GA contract. I haven’t told them anything. They are going to be very, very excited for me and I’m looking to the day that I go home and see them.”

(Q: Did you know if you’re an international player on the roster?)

Tetteh: “Everybody was expecting me to go in the first round and my agent came to me and my coach came to me and they think one of the reasons I hadn’t been picked yet is because I’m an international player and there’s a certain amount of space for international players. But I’m excited. I look at it as it doesn’t matter if you go in the first round or second round. It’s about you going on a team that you fit and a team that has a good tradition and I’m very, very excited to be part of Seattle.”

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