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February 18, 2014 at 1:51 PM

Alex Caskey on returning to Charleston: ‘It was definitely a great starting point for me.’

Here is a transcript of a quick interview I had with Sounders FC midfielder Alex Caskey, one of four players with connections to the Charleston Battery ahead of this week’s trip to South Carolina (the others are Osvaldo Alonso, Lamar Neagle and Michael Azira). Here is what Caskey had to say about going back to where his professional career really started, but some thoughts on last year:

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(What is it like going back to Charleston having now established yourself in MLS?) “It was definitely a great starting point for me. Having played in the tournament in the past, I was always hoping that there was some point where the Sounders would go back. It’ll be really fun to be there again.”

(What do you remember most from your time there?) “I know for me it was just great to play with a good franchise and just get a lot of games, a lot of playing time. The facilities there are great — everything. The coaching staff is great. It was a really good starting point to help me develop and get back to this point.”

(Does the success of former Battery players like Osvaldo Alonso still resonate over there?) “I think so. I there were a couple guys, because Lamar (Neagle) was there the year before me, too. So those are two guys who for sure took similar paths and are good role models to look up to. I’m just trying to accomplish the same thing.”

(Having been here for a little while, what is your goal going into this season?) “I think my main goal is just to be consistent and be able to be as versatile as possible. There are a lot of new players, and we’re still kind of figuring out how we’re going to play and how everyone is going to mesh together. However I can help that transition by being able to play different positions or help people out in different ways is my goal.”

(We’ve seen you play all over the midfield. Do you feel as comfortable in the middle as out wide?) “Pretty much. I played in the middle through college. I’ve been playing wide for the last couple years, but I think it helps you. I think the position is also understanding what people around you would be doing at the same time. But yeah, I feel pretty comfortable at all those spots.”

(How much was the ankle an issue for you last year?) “It definitely played a factor. In July I had ankle surgery and it was a good eight weeks out, but it still bothered me probably for another few weeks after that. It was at the point in the season where the team was starting to consolidate and become what it was going to be through the end. It’s harder to break back into that once you’ve been out for so long. Hopefully this year I can start out on a better foot and be ready to go from the beginning.”

(How do you balance that as a player when you feel OK enough to play but you’re not at your best?) “I guess the most frustrating part for me was being at like 90-95 percent, where you can be out there and be OK, but not be at your best. That was the most frustrating point and that was the main reason to have the surgery, because I’d rather be 100 percent than limping along at 85-90. It’s still continuing to get better, but I’m pretty much as close to 100 percent as I think I’ll be. Now it’s just about improving in all the other areas.”

| More in Sounders FC, Stop and chats

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