The Earthquakes are happy to introduce the fourth overall pick in the 2015 SuperDraft, Fatai Alashe! We caught up with Fatai as he shares his excitment about Avaya Stadium, playing in 2015 and more.
sjearthquakes.com: Welcome to the San Jose Earthquakes! How are you feeling right now?
Fatai Alashe: “I feel great. Obviously, it’s a dream come true for me. I thought my interview with the coaches went really well at the combine, and I definitely thought there was something there and that there was a chance I can go there. With that said, there’s no guarantees, so to hear my name called was a special moment.”
SJEQ: How was your meeting with Dominic and John leading up to the draft?
FA: “It was a really good meeting. I think most of it was them trying to get to know me and get a feel for what kind of person I was. They asked me a few questions about my playing style, some personal questions about me and my family, some of my goals and stuff like that. It was a pretty well rounded meeting. Then they opened it up for me to ask them questions as well, and I asked them a few questions I was wondering. They gave great answers and showed that they were great people, so I was excited.”
SJEQ: Dom Kinnear said you remind him of Ricardo Clark. What do you think of that comparison?
FA: “He told me that during our interview. I think it’s a comparison that I obviously haven’t done anything to live up to yet. That’s something that maybe in a few years people can compare, because Ricardo is a great player and he’s one of the best players in the MLS, so that’s something we can look at down the line.”
SJEQ: That was Dominic’s comparison. Being familiar with the league, what player do you compare yourself with in MLS?
FA: “I would say a player kind of like Tony Tchani in Columbus. He’s similar to my playing style, but I hold in the midfield and shield the backline a little bit more than he does. He goes forward a lot more, but I would say we have pretty similar playing styles and body types.”
SJEQ: What are you most excited about being selected by San Jose?
FA: “I’m definitely excited about working with the coaching staff and meeting the fans. I’ve never been to San Jose before. I was in Michigan, I was born in Michigan and I’ve been in the cold all my life, so I’m excited to get out there to some warm weather, work with a great coaching staff and be around an amazing fan base.”
SJEQ: What do you believe you bring to San Jose on and off the field?
FA: “I’ll start with off the field. I think I have that personality that will be fun. I think the fans will it enjoy it. I’m really excited to meet the fans and start communicating with them. I like to think I’m a pretty fun guy – I like to enjoy myself, I like to have a laugh, but when it comes down to business, I’m all about it and ready to work hard. On the field, I bring passion to the game, passion for my team and colors, and that’s something that’s not going to change. I’ll be one of the hardest working people out there, because that’s how I’ve grown up and played all my life.”
SJEQ: We have Avaya Stadium opening for the 2015 MLS season. How excited are you to start your career in the first inaugural season at the stadium?
FA: “That’s definitely something I thought about. I knew that, I read a lot about it, I’ve heard it’s a beautiful stadium, and it’s going to be a great fit for San Jose. I think the stadium adds a lot of excitement. You definitely want to be a part of groundbreaking things, and that is a big thing to be a part of. That stadium will be played in for a long time to come, and it’ll be good to start it off right.”
SJEQ: Where do you see yourself in five years with the Quakes?
FA: “I’d like to be a regular starter, but that’s something that will be determined through what I do when I get there. If I start off right, the sky’s the limit, but it’ll just depend on how I start off and the amount of work I put in.”