Monday, February 2, 2009

Rhett Bernstein Interview

Rhett Bernstein was a 3-time First Team All-Ivy League defender at Brown University and was recently invited down to the MLS Combine in Florida. While he was down in Florida for the Combine I conducted this interview with him. After having been passed over in the 2009 MLS Superdraft, Rhett is now exploring his opportunities in Europe. He is a good friend of mine and a promising center back who I am sure will have solid, productive professional career. Check out the full interview after the jump as well as the highlight video from the 2005-2006 Brown season in which Rhett was a freshman and helped Brown to an Ivy League Championship and a NCAA tournament berth.

1. What made you choose Brown over some of your local, higher profile Cali Schools?

I chose Brown based on its reputation both within academics and athletics. Brown is considerably a top academic institution, which I found suitable towards both my needs in the classroom and on the soccer pitch.

2. How are things going down at the combine? Why haven't you been able to get in any games?

Unfortunately, my opportunity of playing at the MLS combine this year came to abrupt halt during the friday training session with my team. I unexpectedly pulled my hamstring towards the end of the training session, and I knew that I would be unable to participate in the weekends matches. However, I persisted to rehabilitate my hamstring in efforts to play. Finally, I decided to cut my weekend short and leave the combine. Hopefully, I will be able to pursue alternative opportunities, and prove myself with some of the nations best soccer players.

3. What is the housing situation down at the combine? Do they have you guys in bunk beds or are you living large in a nice hotel?

Its terrific! They put us up in a very nice hotel on the beach. I shared a room with another Ivy League Player, Sean Milligan (Dartmouth GK). Things worked out well at the hotel, and I think the MLS did a great job running the event all in all.

4. What kind of free gear is Adidas hooking you up with? Cleats, Warm-ups, or just a souvenir water bottle?

Adidas hooked us up with loads of stuff. We got jerseys, training tops, tracksuits, hats, and a bag. I think most of the players were stoked to receive all this cool gear.

5. Are you just looking at MLS or are you also looking at opportunities abroad? I believe you have an Israeli passport, correct?

Personally, I'd prefer to play overseas, because of the great exposure one has to bigger and better clubs. I would consider playing in the MLS, if I were offered something more than an unsatisfying developmental contract. I do not possess an Israeli passport, but I do have access to one if I were to play overseas in Israel.

6. What had you done to prepare for the combine? Had you been cranking out 3-mile fitness tests or just working on your superior heading skills?

Prior to the combine, I worked out everyday, twice a day, with both friends and other combine players. I setup daily pickup games with college/professional players at the local university (University of San Diego). Also, I trained with some elite players with a local club soccer coach, who worked us to death. Basically put, lots of 1 v1's, lots of speed drills, and lots of shooting. It was very difficult, but very productive.

7. You scored an impressive 14 goals as a center back during your time at Brown, how did you manage to find yourself open so much? Were opposing coaches just really bad at scouting?

I think I've matured and developed in several areas to help myself score goals at the collegiate level. I wouldn't say opposing coaches were bad at scouting. Most of the time, they would usually yell out "find number 5", but on the days they didn't, it certainly worked to my advantage. I think scoring goals is something that I can contribute to any team I play on, even if I'm playing center back.

1 comment:

AVIL said...

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