Q&A with Tyler Rudy
How long did you and Mikias [Eticha] play together?
He came in going into my U-18 season, so we had basically one full year together at D.C. United, including Reserve Team call-ups, U-23 summer league this past year. So, the season was a long one – obviously, it’s all year round – but we got to know each other really well.
You and Mikias played in Reserve games together while at the D.C. United Academy. How do those games compare to the style of play in college?
The Reserve League did wonders for me and Miki. When we went into those games, we got used to the speed of play that we were going to see in college and we got used to the kind of athletes that we were going to go up against. It really just got us ready for the college game.
So, did you feel like you were ahead of the curve a little bit going into your freshman year of college?
Yeah, exactly. I was fortunate enough to get in these games and experience the speed of play, playing against everyone with that athletic ability and people that were older than me. I really was fortunate enough.
Playing together in the Academy, you know Mikias pretty well on the field. What would you say is the most dangerous aspect of his game?
He’s what we like to call ‘slippery,’ so it’s tough to get the ball off of him. He’s really deceptive when he’s on the ball and he’s extremely dangerous when he’s going forward. I would say, for me, it’s his one-on-one abilities and his vision – he can pick out a pass that no one else can see on the field.
You’re facing a Maryland team that has had quite a few lopsided results in its favor this season. What’s your plan in order to shut down that kind of potent attack?
Well, our back line has been outstanding this entire year. We’ve come across teams such as Notre Dame who have pretty good forwards scoring goals left and right, and we’ve handled them pretty well. So, we’re not going to change much. Obviously, we know that they they’re talented going forward, but we’re doing what we’re meant to do and we haven’t changed a thing. So, we’re going to keep it going – it’s worked so far.
How does it feel to be a part of the Georgetown team that has reached its first College Cup semifinal in program history?
It’s unbelievable. I mean, it’s really a dream come true. When I committed to Georgetown, I knew we had the talent, but I didn’t know it would happen my second year in. It’s really amazing, it’s a dream come true. I remember watching the semifinal and final last year on my couch and now I’m here, so it’s crazy.
So, what made you decide to come to Georgetown over other schools?
It was really a variety of reasons. One, obviously I’m a local kid, so it’s nice being close to my family. Coaches are great, it was a homey feeling – it just felt right, ya know? And you just can’t pass on that education.
What do you think it is about this team in particular that has made it so special, that has advanced to the semifinals and could very possibly be in the championship game on Sunday?
Yeah again, it’s crazy – there’s a lot of things. This team has become so close over this entire journey. I mean, everyone – there is not a weak link on the team. Everyone is so close, you know? It’s been our goal since preseason – make it to Red Bull [Arena], which obviously turned out to be PPL Park for the Big East semifinals/final. And then out there, we said, ‘Let’s not stop, let’s go all the way to the Final Four.” Everyday in training, we train as hard as we could and we looked up to one another and it’s worked out so far. I’ve never been a part of a team like this. It’s been great.
Is there any particular moment from the season that you look back on as a watershed/breakthrough moment for the team that made you realize that you guys can kind of do something?
Yeah. I’m going to say it was the final of the Big East tournament when we were beating Notre Dame 1-0 – they got a quick goal back and then we got another quick goal back. We had lost to them pretty badly before, but we were handling them – we were running the game and I think we said, ‘Ok, if we can beat Notre Dame on this stage, we can beat anyone in the country.’ I think that was really it. We told each other that we could beat anyone.
What are your larger goals in the sport in your college career and beyond?
For me, personally, I’ve met one of my goals by coming to the College Cup this year, but I’m hoping I can help bring the team next year and hopefully my senior year and then pursue a professional career if it works out. We’ll see.
When you look back on your freshman year, what’s the biggest difference you see in your game in your sophomore year?
I think I’ve really adjusted to the speed of play and positioning. I’ve been playing a little bit out of position, but I’ve adjusted and I think I’ve really established a connections with our right back, which I don’t think I did as much last year. It’s helped out a lot.