09 March 2007

Jay Nolly: The DCenters Interview

The DCenters got a few minutes with new D.C. United keeper Jay Nolly over the phone while he's training in Florida. Questions from Kinney, Oscar, and myself in plain text, and Jay's answers are in bold. We were curious about how he felt suddenly appearing against Olimpia, what the transition from Salt Lake to DC was like, and what he hope to accomplish this season.

How was it coming into the Olimpia match on such short notice? What were you telling yourself when running out to the goal?

It was definitely something you didn’t expect happen. But you have to be as prepared as you can. I was quite excited when running out, but felt I was ready to go. Everything came together, though it started out rough in the first 5-10 minutes. But I hope to build from there.

Are you prepared to play Chivas? Do you expect to start?

I’m prepared, but I'm not expecting to start. You never know how things are going to go. I just try to be prepared.

How did you find out you were traded to DC United?

Honestly? I had called home to see how my mom was doing, and my mom told me the day after it happened. Then I checked my email, and I had gotten an email from Mark Simpson. It had all happened when I was out of town. That's pretty much how I found out about it.

How is it, as a professional, to be traded across the country. How do you make that transition?

It’s tough. When you move from Salt Lake to DC, everything is… it's a bigger city, more expensive, the roads are more complicated. Also, coming in while you’re in preseason, you know you’re in DC for two weeks, then at camp for two weeks, than back… it’s tough when you have a girlfriend, family, to try and adjust to it all.

When coming from RSL to DC, you took a trip through Europe, most notable with Celtic. How was that experience, and did you learn anything from it?

Celtic was an opportunity to train with the team for a few weeks. I did real well there, before Christmas. That’s when I found about the trade. I trained with the first team, saw a few [Celtic Midfielder Shansuke] Nakamura free kicks, and he didn’t beat me. It’s fun to see the intensity level, and to see how the organization works. So when January came around, they [Nolly's agent] said let’s take you around to a few places. It didn’t work out, but Simpson stayed in contact with me.

What is it like practicing with a team against which you set a career high 11 saves last season?

Uhhhh... I try and hope they don’t remember that. It’s tough coming to a team who I would say is the best team in the league. The professionalism of the players and the organization. That’s something that happens wherever you go. It takes time to get into the mold.

What are the differences between the RSL/DC organizations?

I would just say that DC, since they’ve been established, in their 12th year, they know what they’re doing. Everything is set up right, so there are no questions. The professionalism of coaches, players, people behind scenes, they've all got their stuff together.

What does Coach Simpson emphasize with you?

Right now we’ve been just been working hard. Since its pre-season, they just break down the body and get you as fit as you can. There's a lot of handling, a lot of stuff with bungees, all trying to get you as fit as you can.

Do you hang out with anyone on the team?

Bobby Boswell’s my roommate. We get to hang out a lot. I talk to Moose and Rod a bit. Once the season starts, it’ll be easier to get into things.

What are your goals for this year?

Push Troy as hard as I can so Troy can get better. I think that’s how a first team goalie gets better -- by having a second string push him as hard as he can. And that’s how I can get better.

Do you own a dog? Do you take this dog for walks? In so doing, do you ever have problems with your footing? Just saying…

I do like dogs, and I would take my dog out. I would just take a ball and let him run for it. No need to mess around with the pothole parks.

Sounds like you've thought that out. Do you actually own a dog?


Do you play FIFA or Winning 11?

I have played FIFA, but I don’t play a lot. I don’t own a video game system. You know, when you’re living with your girlfriend, you should focus on her…

Oh, I dunno. My wife lets me play --

-- Well, maybe if it’s a wife situation....

Do you own a watergun?

I used to own a lot of waterguns. Great, cheap entertainment.

Thanks Jay. Anything else you want to say?

Just that I'm
more than excited to be here. This is the best organization in the league.

Thanks to Jay for taking time out of his day to talk to us, and the DC United Communication team for helping hook us up. Also, big ups to Mark Simpson for always keeping in touch with Jay during his period abroad.

UPDATE: The RSLFM report is linking to this story with the title "Nolly's Backhanded RSL Insult?..." Just in the interest of full disclosure, we edit these interviews a bit, taking out extraneous text (a lot of "Errs" and "ya knows" and stuff), and not printing everything exactly word for word. We don't change anyone's words, or make edits that change the meaning, but sometimes we take stuff out. In this case, the full exchange between us and Jay was as follows:
ME: What are the differences between the Real Salt Lake and DC United organizations?
NOLLY: Well, uhhhh... I don't wanna, you know, tread on any footste---
ME: Oh, I'm not asking you to burn any bridges.
NOLLY: I would just say that...well... DC, since they've been established, in their 12th year, they know what they're doing. Everything is set up right, so there are no questions. The professionalism of coaches, players, and the people behind scenes... they got their stuff together.
ME: Cool. Moving onward... uh... lessee... Has Coach Simpson been emphasizing anything with you in training?

Just to be clear, Jay wasn't trying to say something bad about RSL, just something nice about DC. We all cool now?

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At 09 March, 2007 12:29, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a really cool interview. IT's good to see a blog doing things like this. way to go.

also the Fred deal looks like it was finalized.

At 09 March, 2007 13:49, Anonymous GUTuna said...

Damn skippy we're the best organization in MLS!

At 09 March, 2007 15:35, Anonymous Matt said...

Good job D....hope there is more to come

At 09 March, 2007 16:37, Anonymous bigkris said...

Do you think Nolley got the joke when you were asking about the dog and the squirt gun? Did you explain it to him?

At 09 March, 2007 16:41, Anonymous The bald guy you know who... said...

Jay was and is a very classy guy. We loved him here in Salt Lake. I was personally sad to see him go. Heck, my wife thought he was the cutest guy on the team so she was heart broken...:-) I hope DC treats him the way he deserves to be treated. And Jay, if you read this, my wife says "hello." ;-)

At 09 March, 2007 16:43, Blogger D said...

Matt: Nothing lined up at the moment, but we're always thinking about it.

BigKris: Yeah, after we concluded the formal question thing I explained the watergun question to him. As for the dog, based on his response I think he knew what we were referencing. I mean, that comment about the ball was brilliant.

At 09 March, 2007 17:38, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those of us, who have been hiding under a rock, could you explain or link us to the watergun and dog references. Thanks.

At 10 March, 2007 10:37, Blogger Brian said...

Rimando sprained his ankle last year while walking his dog.

He was also an integral part of a radio station promotion that featured five listeners trying to shoot him with water guns. The Sports Bog at the Washington post put in long hours tracking the stalking of Rimando. It was hilarious.

At 11 March, 2007 21:58, Anonymous DCUinCT said...

Why is it that RSLFM can find anything insulting about their team? It's an impressive ability to find fault in all comments. Guess we'll see how professional RSL is this year. They don't have any more room for excuses.


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