20 Questions With Men's Soccer's Richard Mann

Richard Mann took time out of his busy schedule to answer this week’s 20 Questions, sponsored by The Grill on the Alley.  Mann, a goalkeeper from the San Jose State University men’s soccer team, is a junior this season and is majoring in communications.  The keeper has helped the Spartans to a 9-9-0 record so far this season.

1.) When did you start playing soccer?

I started playing soccer when I was about 5 years old.

2.) What position did you start in?

I actually started in center defense.  When I was younger I was always a little bigger.  I was always good at kicking the ball and I got too slow to be playing that position so my coach put me in goal from there on out.  I was pretty flexible, so I became a keeper. I love playing goalie.  It’s cool because my position is way different from anybody else’s.  I can use my hands and it’s a totally different game.  I love it. 

3.) What is the hardest thing about being a goalie?

You can’t have any mistakes.  Any mistakes lead to goals and people see that.  People point the finger at you, thinking it’s your fault or you point the finger to yourself.

4.) Do you have any pre-game rituals?

Goalies are really superstitious.  I stand on the goal line before the ref blows the whistle.  I touch the crossbar.  I do a squat thing.  I kick my right and left legs up to my chest.  When the ref blows the whistle, I have to be standing on the line.  It’s kind of weird, but that’s what I do. 

5.) Where is the hardest place to play in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation?

The hardest place to play had to be Colorado.  I’ll say Air Force.  It’s hard because you can’t breathe up there.  It’s freezing.  Usually it’s really cold, hard to breathe and for a keeper especially, if my gloves get wet my hands get numb.  You just have to break away from that and play.

6.) What other sports have you played?

I’ve played everything.  Growing up, I played a lot of roller-hockey, basketball, tennis, golf, but soccer was my main sport. 

7.) What is you favorite sport to play other than soccer?

Believe it or not, I like to bowl and play ping-pong.  You can relax and play those.

8.) What is your favorite pro team?

I enjoy watching Arsenal of the Premiership.

9.) What is your favorite class at San Jose State?

Right now I’m in a Multi-Cultural Communications class.  It’s a great class, I love it.  We get to choose topics and do speeches on them.  Any communications class is great.

10.) What do you want to do when you graduate?

I’m going to go to law school.  I want to be a lawyer. 

11.) What do you do in your free time?

I like to clean my house, believe it or not.  I enjoy it. 

12.) What is your favorite movie?

I like any type of sports movie.  Growing up I liked watching Big Green, The Sandlot, Mighty Ducks, anything to do with sports.

13.) Who is your favorite actor/actress?

My favorite actor is Denzel Washington, hands down.  I’ll say Jennifer Aniston for my favorite actress.

14.) What kind of music do you listen to?

I like a wide variety.  Before a game I listen to rock, really heavy rock.  Usually you can find my listening to rap.  I do listen to a lot of reggae, but mainly rap.

15.) What was the last song you downloaded?

Sweetest Dollar by Wyclef and Lil Wayne.

16.) What is your favorite food?

I like Indian food.

17.) What is your favorite restaurant?

I love Mandarin Gourmet.  It’s Chinese food.

18.) Where would you like to go on vacation?  Has to be a place you’ve never been.

I’ve been a lot of places.  I’ve been to South America, Europe I travel a lot.  I’d want to go to Australia.  It seems far out there.

19.) Who are the most influential people in your life?

My parents, for sure.  My dad always set the path for me.  He helped me choose which way to take.  He taught me good morals.  My mom has always been there for me.  I can thank them for everything.

20.) What advice would you give a child who wants to play soccer?

Don’t give up.  Don’t ever give up.  Especially if you don’t think you’re fit for it, just keep going.  People always told me that I’d never be a college soccer player, because I wasn’t fit, because I wasn’t the right type of size.  Now playing Division I soccer, so don’t ever give up. 

This week’s 20 Questions was brought to you by The Grill On The Alley.

Past 2007-08 20 Questions

August 22 - Colleen Burke, Women's Volleyball
September 12 - Nick Cukar, Men's Soccer
September 26 - Amber Silverstone, Women's Tennis
October 17 - Jillene Golez, Women's Swimming
October 24 - Kelly Crow, Volleyball
October 31 - Heather Oranje, Women's Soccer
November 14 - Richard Mann, Men's Soccer