We just caught up with Mr. Troy Perkins, who is currently with the U.S. Men's National Team in Carson, CA. We asked him about coming back to United, what he learned in Norway, Benny Olsen as coach and more...
What were your initial thoughts when you found out you were going to be back in DC?
TP: It was just excitement, really. After this whole process of not knowing which way it would go, just finding out it was going to be permanent was a big relief.
Have you been keeping track of the team while in Norway?
TP: I checked up on the team at least once a week, looking at highlights on dcunited.com – it’s tough to watch a team that you were a part of not be as successful – that’s in the past, though, and we’ll be working hard to get the team back where it belongs.
How familiar are you with Onalfo and what do you think about him as head coach?
TP: I don’t know Curt personally yet, but I know where he’s been and where he’s coached, and he seems like a guy that wants to win, wants to play an attacking style. That means the backline needs to be strong and organized, so that other players can get forward. He seems like a great guy to work for.
When you were last with D.C. United a certain Ben Olsen was playing in front of you – what are your thoughts on his new role?
TP: I think it’s a great role for Benny. He’s got a great brain and he’s a guy that you can always go to and talk to no matter what the problem may be. So, he’s great a guy to have along and there’s no better organization for him to coach than the one he’s spent his entire career with. Obviously, we’ll miss him as player, but I’m glad he’ll still be with the team.
After two years in Norway, how has your game changed? What do you think you’re better at now than when you were with United two years ago?
TP: I think, more than anything, I’ve grown up a lot – I’ve matured mentally as a player, as a man and husband, off the field. Most every aspect of my games has been scrutinized and improved. It was something I had to do – I had to go learn and find out more about what goalkeeping was like in Europe. It improved me as a player.
How is national team camp going?
TP: It’s going well – I’m enjoying the sun in California after being in Ohio for five weeks. The team is coming together and starting to get into a rhythm and it will be an exciting game against Honduras next weekend.
Have you had a chance to get to know Chris Pontius?
TP: I think Chris is a great guy. He’s a young kid, but he’s a great player who has a lot of potential. He’s got a great attitude, a ton of energy and being a part of the team with him is exciting.
What will it be like the first time you come out of the tunnel at RFK Stadium and see and hear the supporters in full voice?
TP: I don’t know [laughs]. I’m anxious to have that experience, but more importantly it’s going to be about giving the fans something to cheer about and put a smile on their face.
Any final words for the fans?
TP: The technical staff and team that we have now at D.C. United is the key in building the club back up to where it used to be and where it belongs. Keep supporting us, coming to games, and we’ll give everything we have to get D.C. United back into the playoffs and winning trophies.