I got the chance to catch up former Sanna Nyassi earlier today, Sounders FC’s U.S. Open Cup hero from 2010. He put in a training session with the Colorado Rapids and the cold, windy, rainy Starfire Sports Complex and took some time for a chat. He had to change and take the team bus back to the hotel so it was a little abbreviated.
* * *
(You scored some big goals here in Seattle and improved a lot over the season. Was it tough when the Sounders didn’t protect you in the expansion draft? Did that hurt?) “Yeah it was a little bit painful for me because I thought I was getting settled with the team. I was thinking 2011 would be a better season for me — to get more playing time and improve on my game — especially after getting my form, scoring goals and playing well. It kind of hurt. It kind of unsettled me. I had to go to a new team and cope with a new situation.”
(Did it help having Tyrone around for the transition?) “That really helped me having Tyrone join the club. We sit next to each other in the locker room, so we always talk about the team and talk about the Sounders. It helped me get it off my head. I’m still part of the Sounders, even if I’m gone, my spirit is still with them. I wish them good luck this season. I appreciate the way the fans welcomed me last night.”
(Are you starting to get comfortable in Colorado?) “I think it will take a little while before I get used to the players, because I’m a little quiet. In Seattle I got comfortable with the players. But things will get better here with time.”
(Have you been playing the same position? I think I saw you scored a couple goals in preseason. Are you happy with that?) “Yeah, I still play the same position. Sometimes I play on the left mid or as a forward, but I’ve been comfortable scoring a couple goals in the preseason. The guys here have already settled in with the team so I need to work hard to break into the starting XI. I got to show the coaches what I came with and help them win games.”
(What was expansion draft day like?) “I went to Boston to visit my brother. Before I know it I got a call from Vancouver to say they drafted me. But later I received a call from Colorado a couple hours later that I got traded there. I didn’t even know what was going on. It was a little bit crazy. My brother said, ‘Just keep your head up. Stay focused. It’s all good. Keep doing what you’ve been doing.’ ”