Sounders beat writers just got a few minutes with the club’s top pick in today’s SuperDraft, Creighton defender Andrew Duran.
He sounds like a nice guy, said he was “overjoyed” to be picked by the Sounders, says he is healthy, expects to play center or outside back in the pros, and said he will report on time to training camp next week.
Here’s some of what he had to say:
On the work he did in college preparing him to work for a starting spot again) (Creighton coach) Bob Warming was a big guy on working your way through whatever it is, life, obsticles, whatever it is. And I think he just really prepared me those first couple of years when I had to work really hard to get that spot and then obviously maintain it the last two years. It just really prepared me for MLS and what’s to come.
On being picked by Sounders) I was overjoyed when I got picked by Seattle. I mean, Creighton obviously has a great fan base from the community and the supporter there is unbelievable. I feel like Seattle is just that on a much, much grander scale. When fans appreciate me, I appreciate the fans. And the organization does a great job with everything, top down from the ownership to everything that goes on there. I’m just overjoyed that I’m going there.
On his positions and versatility) At Creighton I played centerback for most of my career, but I came in as a central midfielder, so I’m comfortable at that position as well. I did play a little bit of outside back at the combine, and in college maybe one game at outside back, if that. But I’m also really comfortable as an outside back, so that’s probably where my versatility comes from. But with the Sounders, I’m anticipating to play either outside back or centerback, but primarily center back.
On his health) I feel great, actually. I had injured my knee in the 2010 season, and I came back this year and I felt great: no swelling, no anything. I’ve been healthy since then, and it’s just been a blessing.
On his style and needed development for the pro game) Primarily I need to catch up with speed. A lot of people underestimate the speed of MLS. When I in Seattle this summer I was in the middle of a (short field) game for probably 10 minutes. The speed is going to be a big thing, but I feel like once I catch up there everything else is going to come into play – the speed of the game, I’m not talking about my actual speed. I’m excited to play and get into an organization where I have a chance to improve and get better as a player.
On visit to Seattle) I know it’s a great group of guys and the city backs the team 100 percent, and I love that. You have 60,000 people at a playoff game, which is unheard of. And when I was out there it was I think the first nice week in maybe six months or something, but it was beautiful. I loved it. I couldn’t ask for a better place to go and play.
On dream-come-true aspect of being drafted) “I just want to thank all my coaches at Creighton, my whole athletic training staff there. The community around Creighton is amazing and just helps players develop, like myself, Tyler and all the guys that have come out. Obviously, I’d like to thank my parents, friend, family and everyone I played with growing up. The competition there is just unbelievable and I think that’s what pushed me to get here. Overall, my feelings today are just overjoyed. I couldn’t be in a better position, going to Seattle. It’s a great place to play. For the U-8 guys, just keep working hard. That’s all you’ve got to do. I think you have to continue to do that to be successful and the next step.”
On being a part of a big Creighton draft class) “I think it’s an accomplishment and (shows what) we’ve accomplished as the school and a program. … I think that we helped put Creighton back on the map a few years ago by making the NCAA tournament, so I expect big things out of them and I loved every moment that I had there.”
Were you at the Sounders combine? If not, what was your experience with the team at the MLS combine?) “I actually did not attend the combine because I graduated that same day. It was like a week right after we got back from the Final Four, so I couldn’t get there in time. There was a lot of guys from Seattle down at the combine. I think there were probably seven coaches and each one of them was really nice, helped. They seemed like they wanted their players to grow and evolve in the league and do well, and I appreciate that coming out of Creighton, where the support base is what makes players great. Obviously you have to work for it, but they have everything there around you as well.”
On plans for the next week) This is a big step in committing to be a professional. I think it starts after this is over. All the hard work starts. I plan on coming in I think in the middle of next week and then camps starts later that week, so I’ll be there pretty soon.”
On his degree) My major was marketing at Creighton and I graduated with a degree in marketing. Obviously it’s a great thing to have and critical-thinking skills are great things to have, just as a player and a person. My big thing is growing every day, whether that’s in my soccer game or my professional life or just as a person, I want to be able to do those things every day. If it happens that my soccer life and professional career are the same thing then I want to grow even more in that until I can’t play anymore.”