On The Pitch With Bobbak Talebi

Oct. 20, 2006

Junior midfielder Bobbak Talebi has been a spark off the bench of the Huskies. Talebi, a native of Kirkland, Wash., has played in all but one game for UW this season, scoring one goal and adding two assists. Talebi sat down with GoHuskies.com after training on Thursday to talk about the team's performance last weekend in the Bay Area, goals for the rest of the season and how his transition to UW has gone since transferring from Portland.

GoHuskies.com: What are your thoughts on the season thus far?
Bobbak Talebi: 'I think that we are doing well. We kind of hit a couple of bumps there with some unfortunate losses, but I think that things are going pretty well. We should be getting some wins here in the next five games or so. We look to be in top form.'

GH: After being held scoreless for three games and winless for four, how did it feel to get that 2-0 win at Stanford on Friday night?
BT: 'It felt good. I didn't think that we played as well as some of the other games that we had lost, but everybody gave a maximum effort and that helped out. It was on national TV, so we kind of had a little bit more incentive. We did what we had to do to win.'

GH: Did you guys do anything different to get back on track with that win, or did it all just come together?
BT:'The effort was there, but it seemed like there were a couple of games in the losing streak where the bounce of the ball just wasn't going our way. The Stanford game kind of swung our way a little bit more and we finished it off well.'

GH: At Cal, you scored your first goal of the season after coming on as a first-half sub. Can you take me through the play?
BT: 'The ball went out wide and it was a little bit of a break. I think that is was like a four-on-five break. The ball got switched over and I caught my player sleeping. Raph (Raphael Cox) dropped a dime on me with a 35-to-40 yard ball and I just took it down with my chest and hit it off the first bounce into the goal.'

GH: Now you guys are back at Husky Soccer Field for your last homestand of the season. How much of a difference does it make to play at home?
BT: 'It's a big difference. On the road it is a completely different atmosphere. Coming home we have some great crowd noise and it gives us that extra lift. A lot of the away games the away team doesn't even have a crowd like we have here, so here we know the pitch very well and we like to come after teams.'

GH: Do you feel like these wet and rainy conditions at home are an advantage for the Huskies?
BT:'Oh yeah, for sure. Most of our team grew up in the Northwest, so we have all experienced the early morning and late night slick dews. Friday night is no different, except that you add a crowd. I know that a lot of our guys get excited about that. This surface has to be an advantage to us especially when these California teams come in because the grass is a little bit different here too,'

GH: This week you're facing San Diego State and UCLA, both teams which defeated UW in Southern California earlier this season. What will be the key to coming away with victories versus these opponents?
BT: 'I think the biggest thing is for us to keep a positive attitude and continue to work hard. I think we realized how big it was for them to beat us when we went down there. They did give us a lot of respect when we went down there, so we are going to try and get after them when they come up here this weekend.'

GH: You have played in all but one game, coming off the bench 10 times and starting three. Is it hard to get into the flow of the game coming in as a sub? How do you stay ready before you come in?
BT: 'It takes a couple of touches to get into the game. I try to provide a little energy when other people can't. The coaches expect me to get in there and score some goals, so I try my hardest. It's hard to stay ready, but the most important thing is to help the guys in front of me. I just need to stay in the game mentally. I have always been taught to not check out and focus as if I am in the game the entire time, even if I'm not.'

GH: This is your second season at UW after transferring from Portland. What caused you to transfer? How would you say your time at Washington has been so far? How was the transition?
BT: 'There were a lot of reasons. I was a recruit for Clive Charles and he unfortunately died right before my freshman year started. That was a big time loss and I was looking forward to playing for him. The school wasn't quite what I thought that it would be and it was a lot smaller than UW. I like to be a little bit more independent, which this school has been able to allow me to do so far. The transition has gone really well so far. I came in and I kind of knew most the guys already. They made it easy and took me in really quick, I haven't looked back since.'

GH: Portland is Washington's longtime rival, how would you describe playing for both teams on each side of the rivalry?
BT: 'The same perspective from each side, just from different sides. In the locker room down there everyone hates the Huskies and in the locker room here everyone hates Portland. You have to be loyal for the team that you are playing for. Off the field I am still friends with a lot of those guys, but when game time comes it is all business.'

GH: You played high school soccer with UW teammate Derek Crismier. What is it like being 'reunited' with him? Did you play youth soccer with any other teammates?
BT: 'Things have gone well, I am actually rooming with him right now in an apartment. We are basically like brothers, so it is nice to be back together. We help each other out a lot. Derek and I played up a year when we were younger and we had to drop back down eventually, but we ended up playing on Kevin (Forrest) and (Matt) Fischer's team. That was a good experience and we also got to play against a lot of the guys I am playing with now.'

GH: What are you majoring in?
BT: 'I have a double major and a minor. I am in International Environmental Studies and Community and Environmental planning. I am minoring in Urban Design and Planning.'

GH: Is it tough to balance two majors, a minor and soccer?
BT: 'It takes a lot of work. I am working as well in an internship. It takes a lot of organization and hard work. It just depends how bad you want everything. I am a fairly organized guy and I have my priorities straight. Sometimes you have to miss some other things, but that's just how it goes.'

GH: What are both your personal goals and team goals as this season slowly creeps toward a finish?
BT: 'Obviously a team goal is to keep winning and get into the playoffs. At this point we probably are going to need to win three more games to get a good seed and that is our goal right now. We are not looking too far ahead, but the biggest goal right now is just getting into the playoffs. Personally, I just go out there and help the team in any way I can. Obviously scoring some goals and getting some assists are something that I am going to try and do to help this team.'

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