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January 12, 2012 at 1:59 PM

Andrew Duran: “I’m just overjoyed that I’m going (to Seattle).”

Reporters got a chance to talk to Sounders FC draftee Andrew Duran earlier today. The defender out of Creighton answered questions on his versatility, his injury history, coming to Seattle and more. Here’s the transcript of the conference call:

* * *

(Does your experience in earning a starting spot at Creighton help as you seek the same in MLS?) “I think it does. (Former Creighton coach) Bob Warming was a big guy on working your way through whatever it is — life, obstacles, anything. I think he just really prepared me those first couple of years when I had to work really, really hard to get that spot and then obviously maintain it the last two years. It just really prepared me for MLS and what’s to come.”

(What are your overall thoughts on being drafted and coming to the Sounders?) “I was overjoyed when I got picked by Seattle. Creighton has a great fan base from the community and the support there is unbelievable. I feel like Seattle is just that on a much, much grander scale. When fans appreciate me, I appreciate the fans. The organization does a great job with everything, top down from the ownership to everything that goes on there. I’m just overjoyed that I’m going there.”

(Where did you play in college and where do you think you’ll play in Seattle?) “At Creighton I played center back for most of my career, but I came in as a central midfielder, so I’m comfortable in that position as well. I did play a little bit of outside back at the combine, and in college maybe one game at outside back, if that. But I’m also really comfortable as an outside back, so that’s probably where my versatility comes from. But with the Sounders, I’m anticipating to play either center back or outside back, but primarily center back.”

(Your bio mentions you’ve had to overcome some injuries. How are you feeling physically?) “I feel great, actually. I had injured my knee in the 2010 season, and I came back this year and I felt great — no swelling, no anything. I’ve been healthy since then, and it’s been a blessing.”

(What do you need to do to develop for the pro game?) “Primarily, I need to catch up with speed. A lot of people underestimate the speed of MLS. When I in Seattle this summer, I was in the middle of a 5-v-2 game for probably 10 minutes. The speed is going to be a big thing, but once I catch up there I feel like everything else is going to come into play — like the speed of the game, I’m not talking about my actual, physical speed. I’m excited to play and get into an organization where I have the chance to improve and get better as a player. I plan on improving every aspect of my game a little bit.”

(What was your experience like in Seattle?) “I know it’s a great group of guys and the city obviously backs the team 100-percent — and I love that. You guys had something like 36,000 people at a playoff game, which is unheard of. And when I was out there it was the first nice week in maybe six months or something, but it was beautiful. I loved it. I couldn’t ask for a better place to go and play.”

(On a lifelong dream coming true…) “I just want to thank all my coaches at Creighton, my whole athletic training staff there. The community around Creighton is amazing and just helps players develop, like myself, Tyler and all the guys that have come out. Obviously, I’d like to thank my parents, friends, family and everyone I played with growing up. The competition there is just unbelievable and I think that’s what pushed me to get here. Overall, my feelings today are just overjoyed. I couldn’t be in a better position, going to Seattle. It’s a great place to play. … Just keep working hard, that’s all you’ve got to do. I think you have to continue to do that to be successful and the next step.”

(On being a part of a big Creighton draft class, four Bluejays were selected…) “I think it’s an accomplishment and (shows what) we’ve accomplished as the school and a program. Obviously (new coach Elmar Bolowich) is coming in and he’s going to do great things. They’re re-turfing the field and they’re building and new building there, so it’ll be recruiting hot spot. I think that we helped put Creighton back on the map a few years ago by making the NCAA tournament, so I expect big things out of them and I loved every moment that I had there.”

(Were you at the Sounders combine? If not, what was your experience with the team at the MLS combine?) “I actually did not attend the (Sounders) combine because I graduated that same day. It was like a week right after we got back from the Final Four, so I couldn’t get there in time. There was a lot of guys from Seattle down at the (MLS) combine. I think there were probably seven coaches and each one of them was really nice, helpful. They seemed like they wanted their players to grow and evolve in the league and do well, and I appreciate that coming out of Creighton. The support base is what makes players great. Obviously you have to work for it, but they have everything there around you, as well.”

(When do you plan on coming to Seattle before starting your journey as a professional?) “This is a big step in committing to be a professional. I think it starts after this is over. All the hard work starts. But I plan on coming in I think in the middle of next week and then camps starts later next week, so I’ll be there pretty soon.”

(What did you study in college?) “My major was marketing at Creighton and I graduated with a degree in marketing. Obviously it’s a great thing to have and critical-thinking skills are great things to have, just as a player and a person. My big thing is growing every day, whether that’s in my soccer game or in my professional life or just as a person, I want to be able to do those things every day. If it happens that my soccer life and professional career are the same thing then I want to grow even more in that until I can’t play anymore.”


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