#AskMais Twitter Chat Transcript
June 16, 2014
Q: What were your thoughts when you heard the National Anthem before your first World Cup game?
Brian Maisonneuve: It was the most amazing feeling. I had chills all over my body. Of course my stomach was in knots as I was very nervous. But once the whistle blew it was time to play. It was an honor to wear the jersey and represent the US at the World Cup!!
Q: What was it like playing for coach Steve Sampson on the 1998 US Soccer World Cup team?
BM: I really enjoyed playing for Coach Sampson. He was great for my career. Obviously things didn't work out as planned in 98 but he is a good man and a good coach. I thought some of the criticism was unfair but when the results don't go your way that happens.
Q: Q: When did it "click" in your mind that you were representing the US? (A specific moment where you went "Wow")
BM: The most unbelievable moment was our first game in the Olympics vs. Argentina. We were unable to warm up on the field because they were doing an opening ceremony for soccer. So the first time we were able to see the field and the fans was right before introductions. As we walked through the tunnel onto the field I can remember the crowd of 85,000 plus chanting USA USA!! For me, the biggest crowd prior to that was the College Cup final of 12,000 people. The chanting lasted for a few minutes and that's when it hit me that I wasn't just playing a soccer game but representing an entire nation!!
Q: What are the keys to the US making it out of pool play?
BM: As we all know it won't be easy to make it out of our bracket but I know we can (will) do it!! We definitely need our key players to step up and play the way they have been. I think Bradley, Howard, Johnson, and Altidore are huge for this team. Each opponent poses different problems so I think we need to focus on us. We need to play our game and do the things we do well. There is no reason we won't get out of our group and make a lot of noise in the knock out rounds. I like this team and I think sky's the limit for this group.
Q: Who was the biggest joker on the 1998 US Soccer World Cup team?
BM: We had a lot of guys with a good sense of humor in 1998. Eric Wynalda was a lot fun and Frankie Hejduk was great in the locker room.
Q: Can US soccer win a World Cup with the developmental pipeline as it is today?
BM: Absolutely. I don't think we give ourselves enough credit for how far soccer has come in the country in such a short period of time. We have some fantastic players at all levels around this country. Our youth teams continue to do well and our full team is going to do some great things this summer. Do we need to continue to grow and modify some things- of course.. But we are definitely moving in the right direction.
Q: What was your favorite Tommy Thompson memory?
BM: Tommy is a great player and so much fun to watch on the field. I never got to see Tommy play live before he came to Bloomington. Coach Yeagley was the one who always made it out west to see him play. I saw plenty of video but never live. I can remember our training when I saw him step on the field. He was everything I heard about times 10!! He will do some great things in the MLS.
Q: What stadium is the most intimidating that you played in with the US team?
BM: Azteca Stadium in Mexico City. Crazy thing is that I didn't even play. I was on the bench but never saw the field and the atmosphere was intimidating. We walked the field 90 min. before kickoff and there had to be 75,000 plus in the stands. It was so loud I couldn't even hear my teammate next to me. There ended up being over 115,000 at the game. Incredible!!
Q: What did you do during your down time in France? Were you among the fans or out in the middle of nowhere?
BM: Our hotel was beautiful but there was nothing it around. It was on a vineyard out in the middle of nowhere. Great for us to stay focused on the task at hand but very little to do in our down time. I can remember playing with the animals that were on site and just trying to occupy our time anyway possible. My roommate was Brian McBride and we did this crazy push-up card game that passed some of the time. It was a beautiful place but there was little else to do around the hotel.
Q: Can you hear all the fans crazy cheers on the field during the game or do you block that all out?
BM: Once the whistle blows you really don't hear much. Sometimes if there is a stoppage in play or a dead ball you may actually be aware of the crowd but most of time you are so focused that you really don't notice or hear much of what is going on in the stands.
Q: What is the one lesson from Jerry Yeagley that stands out above the others?
BM: Coach Jerry Yeagley is the best of the best and he teaches you so much about the game of soccer and about life. But if I had to pick out one thing (which is not easy) that he taught all his players..... I think I would have to go with how to compete the right way. Coach Yeagley is such a competitor and he instills that in all his players. He teaches you how to give 100% in everything that you do. I can remember one time Coach getting all over me at halftime of a game where we were winning rather handily 2-0. However, Coach could tell we let our foot off the pedal a little going into halftime. He let me know that it wasn't good enough. We ended up winning 6-0 and the lesson was learned. He really taught me how to compete not only in soccer but in life.
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