It’s a good thing that we ussoccer.com bloggers aren’t too insecure, or we would feel threatened by the excellent job you all did in asking questions. While we couldn’t get to all of them, we sat down with Danny this afternoon to show him the list, and here’s what he had to say:
Danny what are the goals you have set for yourself with your new team, you'd like to accomplish by the end of the season?
Danny: “My goals are to be in the starting lineup and for the team to finish in the top eight in La Liga. We’re a smaller club, so to finish that high would be a good accomplishment.”
Having just read Grant Wahl's article on Michael Bradley, are you taking Wahl's advice and showing your commitment to the league and the game by learning Spanish at your new home?
Danny: “I think it’s important for a player who comes from a different country to learn the local language so they can communicate well with the other players on the field. I take private lessons three days a week. So far, so good.”
How do you like Santander, and how close are you to a possible debut?
Danny: “I love the city. I love the beach, and there are about 13 of them. It’s a tourist city, so there a lot of people from all over the world that come to visit. There are plenty of people who speak English. I think training has been going really well. I’ve been playing well, so hopefully I will get an opportunity to play soon.”
Out of all of Spain's legendary sides, which are you most excited to take on this season?
Danny: “I would say Barcelona and Real Madrid. They are two of the best clubs in the world, so any opportunity to play against them is a chance to showcase yourself.”
Have you made any big purchases since your transfer? A car, a house, anything? Show me the bling bling.
Danny: “Not yet. I plan on being a new house for my mom in New Jersey. She deserves it.”
Danny, could you expand on the difference in the intensity of supporters for Racing compared to your previous experience in Columbus?
Has anything in particular stood out?
Danny: “The Columbus fans were great. At Racing, the passion is incredible. The stadium is almost always sold out, and the noise when we score a goal is amazing. Fans are singing all game long. It’s a fun experience.”
You know Giuseppe Rossi from your club days in NJ. Have you been in contact with him recently? Is he interested in playing for the US?
Danny:“We played Villareal three weeks ago, and we got a chance to talk. It would be great if he chose to play for the U.S., but that is a personal decision for him to make. We don’t really talk about it. “
Your career has taken quite a jump in success this past year. Sometimes things off the field can make a big impact, especially with a younger player. Can you attribute any of your success this year to something off the field?
When can we expect the mohawk back?
Danny: “Injuries were definitely something that hurt me during my MLS career, and I didn’t always to the right things to get myself back on the field quick enough. I’ve gotten much better about taking care of my body, eating right and making sure that I am better prepared to perform. I know how important it is. As for the mohawk, it might be a while. But you could see the long hair back soon.
Who were the practical jokers on the U20 team?
Danny: I would say Michael Bradley and myself. Jules Valentin would try, he just wasn’t very good at it!"
prime time said...
Danny, how do you feel walking onto the pitch and practicing with the more experienced guys such as DaMarcus Beasley and Carlos Bocanegra? Good luck against Switzerland and in Santander!
Danny: “It’s good. Even though Beas and Carlos are still young, they are very experienced and it’s good to learn from players who are playing at the highest level.”
What have you learned so far from the veterans in the full team? What advice have they given you?
Danny: “The game at this level is a lot faster than at the U-20’s. You have to play faster and take less touches. Communication is also key. You make the job easier on yourself and the players around you. It’s been nice to have guys like Michael Bradley around for my first camp to help me get adjusted while I’m getting to know the other players. I’m just trying to be confident and play soccer they way I know how to play.”
Danny, how have you enjoyed your move to Spain?
“Spain is a great country. There are definitely some cultural differences that you have to get accustomed to. For example, one thing that is different is that everyone eats really late. Nothing opens for dinner until nine o’clock at night. At first it was hard getting used to. My mom and sister were over and we showed up at a restaurant for dinner at 7:15. We had to wait almost two hours for it to open. Another thing is that the people in Spain love to get out of the house and be social. They will go and sit at a coffee shop and drink coffee and talk for hours. People in the U.S. like to talk on the phone or stay at home. In Spain, they love to get out.”