Monday, February 25, 2019
A few of the club’s standout Spokane Sounders players were recently invited to major ODP interregional events or national training camps in Florida. In the continuation of a series of interviews, we catch up with Brayden Tucker, who recently returned from the USYS ODP Interregionals in Bradenton, Florida.
What was your reaction to receiving the news about the invitation?
This was the first time I made the region IV travel team. Ive made the pool team twice. I was super excited to hear that I finally made the travel team. I had worked really hard to make it happen.
What did you do in advance to further prepare for it?
I trained every day whether with my team, by myself or in the gym. I made sure that I was physically ready. Kevin Moon was so helpful and even met me at my school early in the mornings to work on my foot skills weeks before I headed to Florida. He was very helpful.
How was the camp, and what did you learn during it?
Camp can be very stressful mentally and physically but I learned to overcome that and play to my fully potential.
Were there any experiences or lessons you took from the camp that you will be using long-term to further your development at home?
I know this sounds cliche but I really did learn to keep working hard and never give up. I made it to regional camp four times and the feeling of not making the team pool the first two times and not making the travel roster my third time was emotionally draining. I’m glad I took what the coaches taught me and made the changes I needed to finally make it and they noticed.
You were named captain for your team – what was your reaction to that and were there any memorable moments?
When coach Ryan told me in Florida that I was team captain I felt trusted and that all my hard work had paid off. It made me want to work even harder for the team.
You’ve done EPD with players from the region that you didn’t know, but what was it like being with a group with all new people from around the nation?
Honestly, it’s a crazy feeling being around all that talent. I felt very humbled. I learned a lot from the other players, although we had soccer in common, our family backgrounds and states we lived in made it interesting. I really enjoyed my ODP Camp experiences and making it to Interregionals was incredible.
This was frustrating for everyone. We came to show our talent and play soccer so being stuck in our room for the first two days was crazy! By the time we got on the field, we were ready to go! All in all everything turned out fine. We played two of three scheduled games. We won the first and tied the second. Playing at IMG was impressive and I was happy to be a part of it.