Q & A With Husky Junior C.J. Klaas

Oct. 3, 2003

GoHuskies.com: What has been the difference this year?

C.J. Klaas: 'After last season we all sat down as a team and made sure that we were not going to have another season like that. Last season we had a lot of close games that we just barely lost. I think that the hard work we put in last winter and in this preseason is making the difference for sure. We also have three freshmen that are starting and that is making a huge difference.'

GH: A few years ago you were one of those impact freshmen, so you know what it's like. How are these guys adjusting?

Klaas: 'They are doing very, very well. They are actually doing better than I think I did when I came in. I came in to a class where there were eight or nine seniors starting. It was a big rush for me to be starting with them. They have come in and established the fact that they can play with us. They seem confident and really comfortable with their environment. I really haven't had to help them that much, they have just done well.'

GH: What's up with making the new guys shave their heads?

Klaas: 'We shave all the freshmen's heads in the beginning of the year and put different designs in their hair. They had to keep it for a day, we had the Mohawk for Leo (Totev) and we told him he only had to keep it for a day. Then he decided he liked it and kept it. Now it has caught on to Sean Giudice and Gavin Hobbs. Now we have three guys with the Mohawk.'

GH: Did you have do anything like that your freshman year?

Klaas: 'We didn't have to keep it on, we just had to shave our heads. We put a new spin on it each year.'

GH: What has been your best moment in your Husky career?

Klaas: 'To tell you the truth the beginning of this year is probably the best experience I have had. If I had to pick any particular game I would say it was the South Carolina game. It was a huge dominant win against a highly ranked team.'

GH: Where do you see the team finishing up the season?

Klaas: 'That is a good question. I wouldn't have said this before we started playing, but now seeing how the team is starting to gel and how much promise we have, I could easily see us going to the final eight and beyond that.'

GH: Do you worry about what will happen to this young team if you lose a couple of games in a row?

Klaas: 'That is something we have touched on a little bit. Just saying that winning can become a habit and losing can become a habit. Right now we are winning, we are being tough and getting used to it. But, if we do start losing I could see some of them getting flustered and that could knock them off their game. Hopefully it won't, hopefully we won't start losing. If we do we will just have to turn it around right away.'

GH: What are your plans after Husky soccer?

Klaas: 'Probably MLS. I haven't decided for sure. Actually go to world championships here in December with the U-20 national team. That will be a deciding factor for me if the MLS comes around and gives me a good offer. Then I will also see if I have any foreign options. I think professional soccer is in the future for me, especially if I stay healthy.'

GH: Seattle has been a hotspot for soccer lately, has that been pretty exciting for you?

Klaas: 'I went to the Man U game and I went to the game the U.S. team played in Seahawks Stadium. It was awesome, I think Seattle has one of the biggest followings for soccer that I have seen. I think right now Seattle is next on the list to get an MLS team, which I hope happens because I love to play here.'

GH: What do you do when you're not on the field?

Klaas: 'Wow, I am on the field a lot. I hang out with my buddies. I live with five other roommates. Right now I spend a lot of time with my girlfriend who is on the women's team.

GH: Who is she?

Klaas: 'Blair Ruport. We met at a party and it is kind of funny because we have only been dating for four months and I hadn't talked to her at all before then and I knew almost everyone else on the women's team but her. It was weird, because we had just never seen each other, never bumped into each other or anything. Then we met each other at a party and we hit it off.'

GH: It is good timing with both teams doing so well.

Klaas: 'That's true. I think the coaches are thinking, hey, maybe there is a little chemistry there.'

GH: What would be the ideal finish to your career?

Klaas: 'I don't want to go with the premise of winning something. You just never know what is going to happen. I think a good finish at UW would be to end the season feeling like the team had gelled and done well. It doesn't matter if we won or lost the Pac-10 or National Championship. As far a finish to my professional career I would like a good five or 10 years in the pros. I want to make enough money so I can put a little away. I know it won't be like football and basketball where I am putting millions away, but at least enough to put a little bit away and support a family.'

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