Monday, February 04, 2013

Six-a-side with UW goalkeeper Spencer Richey

Last fall, University of Washington goalkeeper Spencer Richey helped the Huskies return to the NCAA Tournament; the men's soccer program last enjoyed a run at the end-of-season competition back in 2007.

The junior played every minute of every match in 2012 as the team finished with a 12-4-3 record. The Huskies paced the Pac-12 conference in fewest goals allowed with fifteen, posted a 0.74 goals-against average and tallied nine shutouts.

He kindly spoke via email about the rapport he has with head coach Jamie Clark, the advanced leadership role he is transitioning into and what separates good from great goalkeepers in our first installment of Six-a-side, a new question-and-answer section here at Football Friendlies.

1. Coach Jamie Clark has returned the program to the upper echelon of the Pac-12 with back-to-back 12+ win seasons. You've played a critical role in this transformation. Care to give some insight into the player-coach relationship?

Jamie is a great coach, and he is an even better player's coach. What I mean by that is he is extremely good at communicating what he wants and what his expectations are to the players. Decisions on playing-time and other things rarely come out of left field, because he is straight forward with his players about what they need to improve on and what they already do well. Since he got here he has continued to push the expectations of our program to higher and higher levels, and it has shown through our play and our results.

2. You and your teammates lost several key players to graduation. Are you looking to take a more advanced leadership role in 2013?

Although I did consider myself to be a leader on the team last year, with the departure of our two captains Dylan [Tucker-Gangnes] and [Ben] Fisk, I definitely am going to have to step up to try to fill their shoes. It is crazy how time flies in college soccer. It felt like just last month I was arriving here as a freshman and next thing I know I am a senior and young guys are looking up to me. Heading into my fourth off-season here at UW, I feel prepared and ready to help lead our young team to another PAC-12 and NCAA tournament run.

3. What aspect of your game will you look to improve upon as you head into the 2013 campaign?

Two things that I think separate good goalkeepers from great goalkeepers is their ability to make good decisions and their ability to organize what is in front of them. These are two big areas I'm constantly working on and the off-season/spring season is a good time to do so.

And three for fun:

4. Best off campus food/restaurant?

I'm a big sucker for Chipotle. It never seems to get old no matter how often I go, but that is a little mainstream. The best under-the-radar place is probably Teriyaki 1st, or "T-1" as we like to call it.

5. Playing on the iPod?

I love all kinds of music. I like everything from country to techno to rap. For pre-game purposes though, I like to stick to techno or rap music.

6. Player or club you supported growing up?

My favorite European club growing up was and still is Arsenal. In MLS, I like both the Sounders and the Timbers, if that is even allowed. I grew up in Seattle, so I am a die hard Seattle sports fan, but I played for the Timbers U-23s last summer and I grew to really like the Portland organization, so I am in a bit of a pickle. My favorite players are probably Tim Howard, Iker Casillas and Thierry Henry.

Photo by Stephen Brashear courtesy of University of Washington Athletics



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