Nov. 10, 2010
CalBears.com caught up with California's John Fitzpatrick in the days leading up to the men's soccer team's regular-season finale at home against Stanford on Thursday, Nov. 11. The sophomore forward discussed the current season, the first Stanford game of the year and his favorite professional soccer team. A product of Encinitas, Calif., Fitzpatrick is tied for second in points at Cal with 13 and has also tallied five goals, three assists and two game-winning goals in 16 games.
Calbears.com: How is the season going so far?
John Fitzpatrick: The season is going really well. We expected to do well this season, but as of now we are all really excited and pretty much ecstatic about how we are doing. It's just going great right now.
Calbears.com: How different is this year from last season?
JF: Last year, I was trying to fight for more playing time and I was probably playing about 20 minutes per game, but then I hurt my foot and that really was a setback. I learned a lot last year from Andrew Wiedeman, Jeff Cosgriff and just all the upperclassmen. After a year of learning, I feel a lot more comfortable this year, and it is a lot of fun starting now. It is like how it was in club ball, when I was used to starting.
Calbears.com: What was it like playing in Europe with your San Diego Surf club before you came to Cal?
Calbears.com: What was the Oct. 2 Stanford game like?
JF: It was a lot of fun. We played in a tournament in Ireland and I actually went with (Cal teammates) Steve Birnbaum and Robby Gogatz. We did really well and made it to the finals of the Milk Cup Tournament and played Manchester United's U18 team in the final. We played other great teams, too, like Fluminense from Brazil and a bunch of good teams from Europe. It was a very high-class tournament and was nice.
It was good, but it was kind of a weird game because we scored early and I thought we were dominating throughout the game, but we couldn't get that second goal to give us some insurance. When we scored late it was just a relief because getting the first one was good, but when you are only up one you are always trying to get that second one. And since they are our rivals, we are going to fight to the death against those guys. Everyone was fighting that game and it was great.
Calbears.com: What made you decide to play soccer over other sports?
JF: I think every other sport was just too slow for me and then once I started watching soccer, I appreciated it even more. I just enjoy the buildup and everything about it, and it just got me when I was younger.
Calbears.com: Do you have a favorite professional team or favorite player?
JF: Yeah, Liverpool is my favorite pro team, and growing up my favorite player was Steven Gerrard. But he is a midfielder, so now that I'm older I just watch forwards a lot. I appreciate all the target forwards, but no one in particular, so if I had to pick one player, it would be Steven Gerrard.
Calbears.com: Have you decided on a major?
JF: Right now I'm in social welfare and I will probably end up staying with that. I'm planning on taking an art class, which I was interested in when I was in high school, so it could be fun taking that.
Calbears.com: Do you have any hobbies besides soccer?
JF: Growing up I was always a very active kid, so I skateboard, snowboard, surf and everything like that. I really like snowboarding and surfing because they are a lot of fun.
Calbears.com: Are you a San Francisco Giants fan or do you have any opinions on the Giants winning the World Series?
JF: I don't really have an opinion. I think it is cool to be in a city where that is going on because I have never been in a city where something like the World Series, Super Bowl or anything like that has been going on. It's awesome being here, but I'm a Boston Red Sox fan because all my family is from Boston. I grew up rooting for the (New England) Patriots, (Boston) Bruins and all those teams even though I am from San Diego.