Taylor Kemp just got drafted. How does it feel getting to reunite with a Terp teammate and a fellow defender?
Ethan White: Its always cool. Me and Taylor got recruited together to Maryland, and we played against each other in club growing up. He’s a great guy, great player. I can’t say anything bad about him. It’s always good to see him in the Black-and-Red.
He shared with me earlier that you had a feeling before the draft that he would end up here. What gave you that sense?
EW: I just had a hunch. I knew DC had been watching him since we were both freshman. Then he trained with us during the summer, and I thought he did well. So, with him doing well at the combine, and us looking for some depth in that position, I thought it would be a good place for him to end up. I thought the team made a good decision.
Very accurate prediction on your end. So how do you think you being here and having a couple years under your belt will ease his transition from college to the pros?
EW: I think having someone on the team you already know is definitely a plus. They can help you see through certain situations. That’s always a good thing. You can kind of bounce ideas off each other and see if one person’s been in a certain situation before. I think it will help him ease into being a professional player and part of the DCU family.
Have you given him any sort of advice about it?
EW: I have not yet. I’m kind of letting him have a good time with his family at home. I sent him a text message. He responded by saying, ‘I hope to see you soon.’ I guess he’s coming here within one or two days.
What do you see as Taylor’s greatest strengths on the field?
EW: I think he gets forward really well at the right times. He’s a great crosser of the ball. I think being an offensive threat from his position is always a good thing because you have to be aware of him getting forward, not just him as a defender. I think he can get us some assists and goals on the board while being a good defender.
Another former Terp teammate John Stertzer was drafted a little bit before Taylor by Real Salt Lake, which is the team you guys are playing against in the home opener. How do you think that will be, being on opposite sides of the field against John?
EW: It will be fun, ya know? I’ve played against a bunch of my former teammates. There are a bunch of former Maryland guys in MLS. So, it won’t be too rare, but he was in my class. It’s always good to see somebody you grew up with, and I played against him in club, too. It will be interesting. I’m sure we’ll crack some jokes, pregame and postgame. It will be a good experience.
What do you think having so many Terps doing well in MLS says about the strength of the program at Maryland?
EW: I think [Head Coach] Sasho [Cirovski] has done a really good job recruiting a Maryland style, even though that might be changing a little today. He has been putting players together that play well together. Every player has their time when they shine through. Whether it be their sophomore year, junior year, or senior year the guys figure out how to take the next step up, and usually end up in MLS or somewhere overseas. I think they have a good understanding of how to get players to this level.