11 Questions With Michael Stephens

Sept. 10, 2008

Get to know UCLA junior midfielder Michael Stephens in this week's 11 Questions. Stephens has had a strong start to the 2008 campaign, scoring a goal in the Bruins' 3-0 win over UC Riverside and being named to the All-Tournament team at the Wake Forest Deacon Fall Classic. Stephens, who has played in 49 career games and made 46 starts, was UCLA's Rookie of the Year in 2006 and was named to Soccer America's All-Freshman team. He is a member of the U.S. Under-20 National Team and last spring scored the game-winning goal and recorded an assist in the U-20s' win over Honduras' CD Victoria in the New Orleans Tournament.

1. What's behind your number switch from 13 to 30? Was 13 getting unlucky or something?
I just felt it was time for a change after a forgettable season last year for me personally. I knew there would be no fight for number 30. It is not the most desirable number...

2. What is your favorite thing about Los Angeles?
My favorite thing about Los Angeles is definitely the weather. It is a big change from Chicago and a very nice change.

3. So ... Cubs or Sox?
I do root for both the Cubs and the Sox. If I had to decide that I could only have one, I would say the Cubs because I love watching games at Wrigley Field - a very historic ballpark.

4. What are three words that would best describe you?
Outgoing, funny and hard-working

5. What is your hidden talent?
My hidden talent is definitely the distance at which I can pour the water from the water bottles into my mouth at practice. I get full arm extension while still not missing a drip.

6. What is the talent you'd most like to have?
I would like to be a better speller. These 11 questions were a struggle hitting spell-check every ten words.

7. You've traveled all over the world with soccer. Which place would you most like to visit again and why?
Although my travels have been fun, I do not wish to return to anywhere that involves a plane ride. I can't wait to be done playing soccer so I do not have to get on one again.

8. What is your can't-miss TV show?
Diners, Drive-ins and Dives on the Food Network. It's a show that tours the country showing the best diner food.

9. Who was your favorite athlete growing up?
I never really admired any famous athletes. I did admire a lot of older players in my club, the Chicago Sockers.

10. What was your most memorable moment as a Bruin?
The comeback in the Elite Eight against Duke in 2006. We were down 2-0 and won in overtime to put us through to the Final Four.

11. Name your all-time UCLA Starting XI.
Trevor Hunter
Patrick Rickards, Kiel McClung, Danny Suits, Greg Folk
Andrew Sinderhoff, Myself, Tony Beltran, Damon James
Kyle McAthy, Brian Perk (yes, he is a striker - ask UNC)

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