One on One with Mike Videira

AC St. Louis: First of all Mike tell us how you got started with soccer growing up in Massachusetts, because when we here in St. Louis think of soccer…Massachusetts is not what we think about.

Mike Videira: Yeah, I guess so. I started playing up a few years with one of my family friends who is about three years older than me. Our fathers were the coaches of the team. I played on a couple of local teams and then went to the Boston Bolts when I was 14. I was brought into the club by a teammate of mine that I went to school with. I stuck with the Bolts all the way until I was 18.

AC STL: How did you go from suburban Boston to Duke University?

MV: I didn’t really want to stay in the Boston area for college. I was looking at a few schools. Virginia, Duke, and a couple of Boston schools were recruiting me. I wanted to play for John Kerr at Harvard, but I couldn’t get in there. Kerr was hopeful I might go to Duke though, and on my visit to Duke I really enjoyed it. We had a really good class coming into Duke that year.

AC STL: You had a very successful career at Duke, a lot of honors, and you were one of the players who helped raise the stature of Duke soccer during this past decade.

MV: Yeah, I mean we had a great class coming into that first year. We had seven freshmen starting that first year, and we made it all the way to the Final Four. We kind of turned the program around I guess from where it was at for quite a while. Now with John Kerr coming in, and with the new guys they have, I think Duke has a very strong program now.

AC STL: So do you naturally hate North Carolina?

MV: I did at first! And of course I do because I am a Duke guy. Unfortunately, I feel bad too because I played summer league with a lot of Carolina players that I became pretty good friends with. We would hang out during the summer, but once the season started…back to the rivalry.

AC STL: Your post-collegiate career took an interesting turn. We don’t see a lot of Americans head off for the Scottish Premier League.

MV: That was an interesting situation as well. I had gotten injured at the end of my senior year, so I missed the trial window in December because I had wanted to go overseas. The draft came up and I was really torn between trying to go overseas again and going into the draft. I was rehabbing down at Duke and Burnley FC came in for pre-season and invited me to come with them. From there I got sent up to Hamilton and that is where I stayed for six or seven months. I didn’t really enjoy it up there, and I chose to come back home.

AC STL: So, New England then brought you back into the MLS?
MV: Yes, it was nice since I grew up right outside of Boston in that area. It was a great experience to come back to my hometown because my parents and friends could come to every game.

AC STL: Were you aware of the St. Louis influence on the Revolution?

MV: Yeah, I actually was because I played with Joe Germanese. He was always talking about how big soccer in St. Louis is with the club scene. And obviously Twellman, Ralston, and Noonan contributed a lot to the team. So I knew a lot about the players from the St. Louis area.

AC STL: What do you hope to be able to do here with AC St. Louis for the rest of the year?

MV: I was talking to a lot of the guys, and everyone is very driven to make these playoffs. We are not that far out at all. Coming here I obviously want to get games in, and help the team make the playoffs. I think it would be great for everybody. Four wins and we have a really good shot of getting in. That is exactly the goal everyone should be looking for, and for me that is the ultimate goal.

AC STL: What kind of player of Mike Videira?

MV: I don’t necessarily have the flair where I am going to be taking players on and streaking down the field. I think I can bring a calm, composed type of aspect to the game. Just playing that one ball that maybe some guys don’t see, which opens up space for someone else. I am more that type of transitional player that just sees the open spaces around the field.

AC STL: Why did Bill Belichick tape Rams practice prior to Superbowl 36?

MV: (Laughing) Uh, no comment on that one. There is a lot of things going around in the locker room over there. They kept it hush-hush over there.

AC STL: What did you learn from sharing a facility with an NFL team? You had to see a lot of what the Patriots went through on a daily basis.

MV: We trained next to their practice field during the early part of the football season. The professionalism is on a different level comparatively. Those players were there before we got there and would be there when we left. They even had beds so they could tape naps between sessions. To see that gave you a perspective on things. Soccer teams go for two hours and then do some lifting or conditioning, but these guys have to do so much more in the NFL, which motivates you when you see it.

AC STL: Which Boston teams did you support the most growing up?

MV: I went to Revs games, and I probably went to Bruins games the most. I really like watching hockey live. When I was at Duke there were a lot of Red Sox haters when they were in the World Series, which was actually a lot of fun.

AC STL: Do you think Boston and St. Louis are a lot alike?

MV: I have never been here until now, but all my friends from here just seem like the most diehard fans. They are very defensive about their teams and their city. Just from being here a few days there are a lot of people wearing hometown gear.

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