A new story from Men In Blazers

Men In Blazers


Most kids want to sit up front, score the goals, grab the glory, and your 6 foot two now, but at the time you get to hit that gross but and I'm fascinated, what drew you to that position at such an early age, because arson wenger once told me, people who love to win become strikers, people who hate losing defenders. Yeah. I like that. I like that quote. You know, of course my dad, he doesn't know too much about soccer, so he is one of those, one of those parents, of course, everybody wants their kid to score, but here's one of those parents who was like, oh, if you're not scoring you had a bad game, you got to a point where, of course, I wasn't scoring. And so I started eventually moving further and further down the field and then once I hit center half, I was like, no, this is like, I feel like I have the most control in the game because I'm right in front of the goalie and I'm able to kind of make my mark in a way where I don't necessarily need to score the goals, but I can help prevent them. And so like you said, I hate to lose, I don't know if it's just because of how I grew up, but I'm very competitive and ever since then, I've been drawn to it and I've not haven't looked back and yeah, I was very short at the time, so everybody thought I was just kind of a temporary thing. Oh, he'd play there for until the guy comes back and then eventually one summer I woke up and I was like 6 inches taller. Thank God for the United States that guy never came back. But the thing about being a young promising footballer in Birmingham, especially a decade ago before Birmingham had the USL team the mighty legion before Atlanta United, there weren't a lot of places to develop at an elite level. So you had to go on trial to FC Dallas 650 miles away from home where you trained alongside the likes of young Texas up and comers western McKinney. Jesus Ferreira Reggie cannon. Do you remember any of those kids from Batman? Yeah, of course, you know, like they would live stream the national championship game for the academy, and I remember watching Wes, you know, of course when we were watching Reggie, Jesus, Brian Reynolds, all these guys, and FC Dallas and one every year, so it was like the top of the top and I was coming from Alabama, you know? Was Wes Wes back then? Yeah, he was still less, you know, he hasn't, he hasn't changed much since he was like 1617. But yeah, I mean, I came from Alabama where we weren't even the best team in Alabama and then I went on trial at FC Dallas and I was like, this is a whole different world. Yeah, the trials didn't last long inside 5 days, you were cut. We've all been there dear listeners. That kind of rejection, 16 years old, away from home, just starting out, and you ended up moving to Texas anyway, a few months later, not to FC Dallas, but to Texans SC, development academy in Houston, you suffered crippling homesickness away from your family, but that perseverance paid off because a year after the first rejected you, Dallas re approached you, and things have got to say, started to move extremely quickly once you got back to Dallas within a year, you'd sign your first professional contract as a homegrown player. And Chris, your mom has a story about you, ten years of age, you'd put sticky notes on the mirror in your bedroom with all your goals, all of them culminating in the ultimate dream of playing in MLS. And when you're selling that first contract with Dallas, 18 years old, having achieved the extent of what you'd allow yourself to dream as a kid. What went to your head? Were you like, I have climbed the mountain, or were you like, wow, I've got to come up with some new goals and buy some new sticky notes. Yeah. As I had to buy new sticky notes, you know? I had these goals set up for me and it was like, okay, once I signed my first deal at Dallas, I was like, you know, what's next? Signing your first pro contract is always amazing. But then you're thinking, all right, what's the next step? How do I get to the next level? I mean, this is where your story becomes truly surreal through the looking glass. It just an incredible moment because within a month, a month dear listeners, before you'd even played a professional game in MLS. You were given a trial at Bayern Munich, German powerhouse European powers by a unit. They had a player development partnership with Dallas and they offered you a yearlong loan. I wouldn't know we talk about this. Yeah, that happened. And of course, that's where he went. He went first to Dallas, then to how much of a shot was it when they came in, were you playing it cool on the outside inside what was going on because that is a world away. A world away from FC Dallas. I remember calling my parents and I was like, so I'm going to Germany next week. You know, it's a trial and they're like, what do you mean? And I was like, oh, buying this and that. And two years before that, I was playing in Alabama, you know? And then to go from Birmingham to Byron within two years, it was like

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