Q & A with Graham Zusi
Aug. 26, 2008
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Maryland men's soccer senior Graham Zusi is one of the Terps top returning players for the 2008 campaign. As the leading scorer for Maryland last season, Zusi will be called upon to help fill the void left by All-American midfielder Stephen King, while mentoring eight incoming freshmen.
Zusi and the rest of the men's soccer squad travel to the West Coast this weekend to face Pac-10 opponents UCLA and California.
Umterps.com recently spoke to the senior midfielder about the upcoming season.
Q. What's the atmosphere like on the field with the team? A. Real positive. Everyone on the team is real excited for the season to start. We have a great group of guys, along with a stellar freshman class. We definitely think of ourselves as contenders for a national championship.
Q. What's been your motivation coming into your senior season? A. Basically, the results the couple of years haven't been to our standards. We know we are capable of more. The seniors on the team were a part of the 2005 national championship. We want that feeling again.
Q. How does the team get over a devastating loss to Bradley in the NCAA Tournament? A. It's tough to get over something like that, but you have to be able to use it to your advantage at the same time. During the time leading up to this season, we've pride ourselves on finishing games. There's no room for excuses. We have a tough schedule, and we can't have those mental lapses.
Q. You have two big games this weekend against #14 UCLA and California. What is the team looking to do this weekend?
A. Obviously, we want to start off right with a pair of wins. We will go into each game the same no matter who we play. We have a lot of respect for both of those programs. We just want to play Maryland-style soccer.
Q. What is Coach Sasho Cirovski like on the field? A. He expects practice to have the same intensity as the games do. There's no time to rest. We must go hard 100 percent just like games. He expects nothing less.
Q. What is it like to see your former teammate Maurice Edu on the cover of a video game? A. Mo's definitely an inspiration to our team. He's taken advantage of every opportunity thrown his way, and I couldn't be happier for his success. He's a great guy.
Q. How excited are you to return to Ludwig Field? A. I can't wait! The field looks perfect. We have additional stands behind the goals. We have a great fan base-The Crew. The fans make it special to play at Ludwig. It feels like we have a 12th teammate with us on the field.