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August 23, 2012 at 4:18 PM

A stop and chat with Dawyne “Rick” Smith

Dawyne “Rick” Smith has joined Sounders FC training a couple months after being selected in June’s waiver draft. The 24-year-old Jamaican was originally selected in January’s MLS Supplemental Draft by the New England Revolution, but never earned a contract and went on to play with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds of the USL Pro league. While Seattle now controls his MLS rights, Smith is not under contract.

Here the transcript from a recent interview with Smith, who played 34 minutes in Sunday’s MLS Reserve League game against the Los Angeles Galaxy:

* * *

(You were selected in the waiver draft in June. What have you been up to since then?) “I was playing in the USL with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds and I was finishing up my master’s (degree), as well.”

(Master’s in what?) “Business education.”

(Where from?) “Bethel University.”

(Did wanting to get your degree delay your arrival?) “That never really had anything to do with it. At the time, I was playing and the Sounders were doing exceedingly well. I’m grateful for that. But everything takes time and I’m guessing this is a time that they wanted me to be here, and I’m happy they’ve taken the time to bring me here. I’m just ecstatic about that.”

(What has it been like so far in training and playing in Sunday’s reserve game?) “Just a euphoric experience — to see the guys, their professionalism, their organization. It’s just very much tremendous. These are the things you dream about. These are the guys that you watch day in and day out on the television, and to be actually rubbing shoulders with them, those guys that are showing you the same level of respect, makes you feel much better about your chances and moving forward into the professional level.”

(What have the Sounders told you they want to see?) “Be myself. Be myself. The coaching staff and the players have welcomed me with open arms: ‘Ricky, just be yourself.’ I was a part of the closed combine in December and I think I did pretty much well — hence I’m here — and they just told me to be myself, and that’s who I can always be. Be myself. If they see anything that needs fine tuning, as far as it makes me a better player to help the team, then it works. The name on the front is more important than the name on the back.”

(Where do you like to play?) “I can play anywhere in midfield, preferably right or left midfield, or if there is a need up top. But I’m pretty much comfortable playing wide right or left because I can use both my feet.”

(How did things go with New England?) “It was going very well. Evidently things didn’t materialize as we had hoped, for whatever reasons behind closed doors. That was beyond my control. The only thing I’m paid to do, the only thing I aspire to do, is play. My management team and the organization will handle the political part of it. I had nothing to do with that. I can’t tell you where negotiations broke down or whatever, but I enjoyed my time there and I wish them the best.”


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