VASoccerNews: I'm assuming the Generation Adidas tour was a great opportunity for you to play and train in Holland as well as take it all in. Describe what your experience was like playing, training, and just being engulfed in the culture over there.
CS: The experience in Holland was great. The facilities at Ajax were unbelievable and being able to take in a Champions League match was pretty unreal. I really enjoyed being at Ajax because of the history of the club and their style of play. It was definitely awesome just to be in Europe and see how the game is over there.
VASoccerNews: Having a chance to reflect back on the tour, which team out of the three you played were the best? What were the training sessions like? How did you play and how do you think you compare with the rest of the players selected for the tour?
CS: Back on the tour, I can take a lot away from it. I received positive feedback, and I was pleased with how things went. All three teams were good and played with similar styles, but Ajax was probably the best. Our team was very good and filled with a lot of very talented players. I think I learned a lot on the trip. The training sessions were competitive and were high quality. The coach emphasized being sharp with everything we did.
VASoccerNews: Peter Vermes have anything to say to you or the players that really stood out as being something worth remembering? How did you like him as a coach-is he a players coach? How does he compare to Ben Olsen?
CS: Coach talked to us about how every roll of the ball matters. This is definitely one thing I took with me because it is very true. In a highly competitive game everything matters, and I could really see this. You have to do the little things to keep possession of the ball and create scoring chances. Having the ball also makes it difficult for the opposing team to do what they want. He is a really good coach because he demands a lot from his players while supporting them.
VASoccerNews: Assume 6 years from now you are a seasoned MLS vet, do you take a chance overseas? What are your soccer aspirations? Do you just want to be a pro, continue through the ranks and one day play for our national team, coach when your done?
CS: My aspirations are to be the best I can be as a soccer player. I hope the future holds a lot more new opportunities for me. I want to continue to do new things and experience the world of soccer. I hope to be involved with soccer for a very long time because I love the sport and I am always interested in learning. Hopefully that will help me in the future as a coach or a different role in soccer.
VASoccerNews: Who has as been your biggest influence/fan in terms of giving you the ability and mental toughness to take a chance as a home grown player to try and make it professionally as a soccer player in the United States?
CS: I am not sure if I have one person who is my biggest influence. I just try to work hard and do my best and hopefully the rest will take care of itself. My family and friends help me out by supporting me.
VASoccerNews: You signed with DC 8/16/2010. What was going through your mind that day? Can you describe the feeling of being a professional soccer player at age 18?
CS: It was a great feeling to sign a contract. It was a big goal for me in my life to become a professional soccer player so that will always mean a lot to me and it will always be something I am proud of. It was all a little bit surreal to actually reach that goal. I just remember being so excited on that day.
VASoccerNews: You obviously are missing the chance to play in college right now. Were you considering playing collegiate soccer? Where? What/Who were your influences to go the professional route and forego the opportunity to develop as a student athlete and come out 4 years later as a more mature, potentially, more put together player?
CS: I was considering playing college soccer at George Mason University. I think being in a professional environment everyday is the best thing about being a pro. I think being able to train with and learn from a lot of great players has helped me become a better player.
VASoccerNews: Has anyone taken you under their wing? Dwayne De Rosario or Josh Wolff? What's the difference between the seasoned veterans like the two I mentioned and someone who is just breaking into the league?
CS: The older guys do a good job of helping the younger players. I have talked to a lot of the older guys and they have given me great advice. Those guys do a good job of demanding a lot from everyone and communicating. Dwayne and Josh have both accomplished so much in their careers and when they speak everyone listens. They have both given me some good advice.
VASoccerNews: Did you end up becoming friends with through the tour?
CS: Everyone on the tour was really cool and it was cool meeting some new guys. I had been good friends with Omar and Kofie before the trip so it was really good to see those guys again