Q & A With Brent Richards

Sept. 11, 2008

Freshman forward Brent Richards (Camas, Wash.) has already proven that he will be a key player on this year's Husky men's soccer team. With UW looking to replace two of the top offensive players in recent program history, Richards has stepped in nicely up front, netting three goals in the Huskies' two games last weekend in South Carolina. The 2008 Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of Washington, Richards took some time to talk to GoHuskies.com this week about his stellar start. UW will be relying on his play when it takes on Portland in a nationally televised match (Fox Soccer Channel) on Friday at 8 p.m.

GoHuskies.com: You helped the team pick up two wins by scoring three goals over the weekend. What was that like?
Brent Richards: 'It was great. It was definitely a team effort. We brought it together and I was the person on the end of it. There were some great balls played in and we did well as a team so it was good for us.'

GH: You are leading the Pac-10 in scoring right now. What's that like?
BR: 'It feels really good. The freshmen have been stepping up really well. Dylan (Tucker-Gangnes) has two goals and an assist as well. It's been really good to see the younger guys stepping up, especially since we lost Ely [Allen] and Kevin [Forrest] after last year.'

GH: How hard has it been to fill such big shoes?
BR: 'I think Dylan and I have a little bit of pressure on ourselves. The first two games down in Portland were a little rough for us, but this last weekend we scored eight goals in two games. They were from five different players too, so that was really good for us.'

GH: What role does George John play in helping you?
BR: 'It's really helpful to just have that reassurance that he is there. He is a really good team motivator and that's what we need from him.'

GH: This will be your first game against Portland. What do you expect going in?
BR: 'I think what the team is looking forward to is doing better than we did a couple of weekends ago down there. We didn't have the best games. We are a different team now than we were then and this weekend we're going to show that.'

GH: Will you notice old teammates when you're out there?
BR: 'A little bit. Some of my friends will probably be out there. I'll just have to block that out a little bit and focus on the game. A lot of club players I know play on the West Coast so when we travel I'll see them on other teams. You get used to playing against other people you know.'

GH: You spent two years in the Washington ODP program and one in Oregon. Why is that?
BR: 'The two years I played in the Washington program involved a lot of traveling. It turned out that most of the practices were up in Burlington and Bellingham so it was quite a drive. My last year I decided I really didn't want to go that far and decided to go to Oregon. There were a few players on my club team that did that as well.'

GH: How hard has it been to adjust to college soccer?
BR: 'We have a lot of great leaders and being a young team that allows a lot of time for us to build ourselves. We're going to have a really good year this year and quite possibly an even better one next year. It was difficult for me at first. I've had a little bit of trouble adjusting. The speed of play is a lot faster and it takes a lot of mental fitness, but I'm getting there.'

GH: Thanks for the time and good luck this season, Brent!
BR: 'Thanks!'

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