April 24, 2010
Position: Right Winger
Date of birth: 09-28-1987
Country of birth: Netherlands
Pro games: 10
Former Clubs: FC Volendam, vv Katwijk
Tell me about your childhood in the Netherlands. When did you start playing soccer?
I was grew up in Zaandem, near Amsterdam and lived in the western part of Holland where it was more like big cities. Life there was very good. I lived near the capital, Amsterdam, which is my favorite city. I went there a lot when I was young because it was only a ten minute ride. I started playing soccer when I was five years old in my hometown of Zaandam. When I was thirteen I went to the pro club.
Who were your childhood soccer heroes?
I really remember having a soccer hero from my childhood, but I really like Ariean Robben of Bayern Munich who is also a fellow Dutch Winger.
Who is your favorite team?
I don’t really have a favorite team.
Are you still in school?
Yes, I’m studying sales and marketing at the University of Amsterdam. I’m doing an internship with the Dayton Dutch Lions and will be returning in August to graduate.
When did you start playing club soccer and what was like in Holland?
I started with the youth club, VC Volendam, when I was 10 years old. I played there for eight years with the youth first team. When I was about 17 years old I played my first match with the senior team. I played with the U-17 National Team, where I had the opportunity to play in Serbia, France and Italy. I played against great players like Nasare (Arsenal) and played with Elia (Hamburg). I then played for six months with vv Katwijk.
What was the schedule like?
I went to school in my hometown. We would finish up around 3pm and then the bus would take us to FC Volendam. I would usually get home by dinner time. We trained every day, but Sunday’s were free. In Europe you play with a club’s youth side and then, at some point, you might get picked up for the senior or professional side.
What brought you to the Dayton Dutch Lions?
I really wanted to take this chance because it was in a different country. I’ve always wanted to play in a different country to see other coaches and play on a different level. In the US soccer is not that big, but it will be a big experience to play here and see how I play at this level. It's a good chance, if I do well, to play at a higher level in the US. I’m still young and these are very important years. I want to play at the highest level. My goal would be to play in MLS.
What strengths do you think you’ll bring to the team?
As a winger, I am very fast. I’m good in one versus one situations. I think my biggest strength is my quickness. I like to take players on and beat them.
What excites you most about the upcoming season?
I’m very excited to play against Global United in a couple of weeks. They have many big stars from the US and around the world. I’m really looking forward to playing that match. I’m also excited to see what the level of competition is in the PDL. I’m just very ready to get started and to play.
Are you familiar with any of the opponents?
No. Some people say it's going to be easy for us, but I think it's going to be hard. Teams in the US play a different style of soccer than we do (in Europe). I think we are going to have a very good team and should have a really good chanceof winning.
What do you see in store for the future of the Dayton Dutch Lions?
It’s a great initiative. Soccer in Dayton is not that big. We are the only pro club, so we hope to help grow soccer in Dayton. With the trainer we have in Sonny and his experience at Ajax, we should be able to do very well and be very competitive.
What do you want the fans to know about you as a soccer player?
I’m very quick and love to take players on. It should be exciting to watch us play!
What do you think about Dayton so far?
I’ve been in Dayton just over three weeks and I really really love it. It is so different from Holland and Europe. Everything here is big – cars are big, meals are big, people are big, everything is big!
Have you found a favorite place to eat? What do you like there?
PF Changs is absolutely amazing! I really like the Kung Pao shrimp.
What do you want the fans to know about you as a person?
I’m very outgoing and kind! I love to buy clothes and treat myself well. I’m very fashionable. Men in Europe spend more money on their clothes than in the US. I do my best to look good.
Roommate: Johann Wigger
Player(s): Ariean Robben (Bayern Munic)
Restaurant: PF Changs (Kung Pao Chicken)
Music: R&B and Dutch House