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July 19, 2012 at 11:40 PM

A stop and chat with goalkeeper Josh Ford

ford mug 2012.jpgUntil Wednesday, Sounders FC goalkeeper Josh Ford had only seen reserve-league action. Injuries and inexperience were a couple things that worked against him since being drafted in 2011, but things finally fell in place for his debut — against the reigning UEFA Champions League winner Chelsea FC, no less. Ford talked about it with reporters Thursday and here is the transcript:

* * *

(It was a friendly, but do you look at Wednesday as your debut?) “Yeah, I think so — maybe not in MLS, but definitely a debut nonetheless. I’ve been out for such a long time and only played in a couple reserve games, so I definitely take this as a step towards a (full) debut. Hopefully I’ll make a debut in MLS at some point and just keep going on from there. But it was definitely a big step in my career right now.”

(How did you think it went?) “It went pretty well — I mean no goals scored in the second half. I felt really calm. I just wanted to go out there and play my game and show what I had. I was really comfortable with what I was going to do. They gave me the nod at half and I say, ‘All right. Let’s go,’ just be confident and show why I’m here.”

(Did it feel weird that your first action came against a club like Chelsea?) “I tried to not play that up much because that could play psychological head games. I just tried to take it as a regular game, a regular approach, and just be confident. That’s one thing that I have to be is confident, show the guys out there that I’m back here and you’ll be fine, not looking nervous or looking shaky or anything like that, just be more confident and show them that I can play and that I should be here.”

(Coach Schmid told us they weren’t sure when they were going to sub you in. How did that go?) “Yeah, we were walking towards the locker room and then (goalkeeper coach Tom Dutra) gave me a call and said, ‘Go get your stuff on,’ and I said, ‘All right.’ I mean I was going to get put in at the half or at some point. … They said, ‘All right, you’re going go in,’ and I said, ‘Let’s make it happen. Let’s start it.’ I was excited.”

(So you knew you were coming in at some point?) “Yeah. They asked how I felt about playing. Of course I said I want to play; I’m not going to really pass up the opportunity. I didn’t play last year (against Manchester United) and I didn’t want to let another opportunity pass, so I said, ‘Let’s go for it.’ I wanted to see how the knee felt and everything like that. Obviously did pretty well, had a couple saves. I have to work on a few things, but for not playing for a while, I think it went pretty well.”

(Schmid said the competition for backup goalkeeper is a tight race. Glad to be able to keep things interesting?) “Yeah, being able to play in the game against Chelsea was definitely a help for my end because I mean they wouldn’t have had any reference (in watching) me play or anything like that to say he’s ready for a game. Obviously that gave a little bit of confidence and a little bit of idea of where I’m at. … (Now they’ve) at least seen a match of me playing — or at least 45 minutes of me playing — against a really good caliber team.”

(Was it frustrating not getting any action in the Manchester United game you mentioned?) “I knew I was going to play at some point throughout the year, but it was their decision. I respected their decision. I was kind of just here for the experience and seeing how things go. If I get in, I get in. If I don’t, I don’t. I mean obviously everybody wants to play in those games because there’s not many times you get to play those guys or see those guys. It was a little frustrating obviously but I took it as a learning curve, a learning experience, and just kept moving forward. I got to play against Chelsea, so it’s in the past and now I’m moving forward onto new things, hopefully better things.”

(Do you have a favorite EPL team?) “My favorite team is Arsenal. I mean Thierry Henry is one of my favorite players, so getting to meet him the other day was a really great experience. Definitely something I’ll treasure for a while.”

(So not Chelsea?) “No, not Chelsea. Not Chelsea. Arsenal.”


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