News

Know Your Strikers: Matt Hall

hall q&a

We sat down with Matt Hall last week after training to talk about his move to Fort Lauderdale and what Strikers fans can expect from their new right back.

Read the transcript of our conversation below:

on his background…
I was born in New Jersey and grew up in Virginia. My dad played soccer, so it was all I knew growing up. Every day I would go to the field with my dad and watch him play. I practically lived at the field

on school…
I played soccer in Virginia during my youth. I left high school when I was 17, and went to Tyler Junior College for two years. I played college soccer at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix for two years.

on his travels…
I’ve been everywhere. I’m a traveler. I played for Thunder Bay Chill in the PDL, and went to the national tournament with Hampton Roads Piranhas. I played for the Vermont Voltage and had 18 assists in one season [from the right back position]. After that I went to Mexico and then [trained] with Sporting KC for a bit. From there I signed professionally with the L.A. Blues and spent two seasons there. I also played indoor soccer in Las Vegas, and won the national tournament with them [the Las Vegas Knights].

on that 18-assist season…
I’m not sure if it was a record for the league [PDL], but it was a record for the team [Vermont Voltage], for sure.

on his career highlights…
Spending preseason with the L.A. Galaxy was a great experience. It was great going to Mexico and playing against Pumas with them. That and going to Spain with the [U.S. youth] national team. It was my first international trip and that was the moment where I realized I could become a professional.

on the original Strikers…
My dad grew up with the original NASL and the Cosmos when he came to America, so when I told him that I was going to sign with the Strikers he was like, “[Gerd] Müller played there!” And when I looked it up [the history] myself, I found out that this is a team that has had success and some very good players.

on South Florida…
I like it so far. Being in South Florida is different than Los Angeles, but it’s a great mix [of people]. There’s such diversity here which is always nice to be around. It’s fun. It feels a little bit like home [Virginia]. I haven’t been on the east coast for about nine years, so to be back east is a bit of relief.

on fitting in with the team…
Fitting in always takes time and adjustment. We all come from different places and everyone is on a different level, so of course it takes a bit of time, but it’s a process that comes with anywhere you go, at all levels of the game. It always takes time to adjust to a new location and new teammates.

on what he brings to the right back position…
Speed, and getting up and down the sideline. I don’t hold back with my runs; I’m always looking to get forward and attack and provide good service to my teammates.I like to create opportunities for them to score. Defensively, I’m solid; I think I am a very good one-on-one defender.

on Darnell King…
I’ve played with players like Darnell before and it’s easy to work with someone like him. You don’t have to push forward as much, but when you do make a run you can interchange and cover for each other. It helps the team because there are now two guys on the same side with pace and similar attacking traits. It’s going to be exhausting for the opposition’s outside midfielders and backs to deal with both of us.

on coach Kronsteiner…
He sees from the outside. He’s not harping on anyone, and he’s not a drill sergeant, but he has a soccer brain. He teaches and explains things. You can tell a coach is good by how they understand the game. He’s straightforward and at this level, when there’s always competition [between players] you have to be able to understand exactly what the coach expects from you.

on his goals for the year…
Win. I want to do my best to bring a championship to Fort Lauderdale. I’m a winner and I want to be able to help the team challenge for trophies. Personally, I would like to be one of the best right backs in the NASL.

on his goals for the future…
If it’s possible to stay in Fort Lauderdale [at the end of the season], I’d love to, or if I get an opportunity to move abroad or move up to MLS, that would be great. I worked my butt off in USL Pro to be considered one of the best outside backs in the league to get an opportunity with the Galaxy, so I would like to move up to that level if I earn the opportunity.

on activities outside of soccer…
Listen to music, watch TV, go to the gym… eat. I like going to places that have good food. Now that I’m here, I like to go to the beach and just enjoy myself. It’s important to just enjoy each day.

on his favorite players…
[Zinedine] Zidane. As an outside back I’ve always looked at Cafu and Roberto Carlos. Those two were revolutionary at the time, because if you look at how that position is played now, they were the ones that introduced that style. Ashley Cole, Maicon, and now Dani Alves, these are players that bomb up and down the sideline and I’ve molded my game after them.

on his favorite teams…
Real Madrid and Chelsea. I’ve been following Madrid since Ronaldo Fenomeno and Zizou, and Chelsea has always been a team that I’ve studied from a distance. I was always intrigued by the way they [Chelsea] played and Madrid, well, they’re the Galácticos, you can’t ever go wrong with them!

on the toughest players he’s faced…
Robbie Keane, Landon [Donovan] and Guillermo Barros Schelotto. [Schelotto] came to Phoenix with the Columbus Crew for a preseason match when I was playing for the Arizona Sahuaros. I had to mark him for 90 minutes and he didn’t score.

on the best player he’s played with…
I have to say my boys from LA, one is with Orlando [City] now, and the other is with Richmond [Kickers], Carl Woszczynski and George Davis IV. Those two were like my brothers.

 

Fans can follow and interact with Matt on Twitter at @pnut2dupe.

Others in the 'Know Your Strikers' series:

Shawn Chin

Fafà Picault

 

This preseason remember to stay tuned to Strikers.com for all the latest news, recaps and features from South Florida's professional soccer team. Like the Strikers on Facebook.com/FTLStrikers and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @FTLStrikers.

The Strikers season kicks off April 12th against Ottawa Fury FC at Lockhart Stadium. Season tickets for the 2014 campaign are on sale by calling 954-606-0400 or at www.strikers.com.

Back to News

Proud Sponsors of Fort Lauderdale Strikers

Holiday Inn Metro Pc Pest Logic Miller Lite Panini Talkapp Guarana Antarctica ACERBIS Tire Choice Children's Services Council of Broward County U.S. Army Univision 23 Traffic Sports USA Chipotle Atlantic Rehabilitation Center wecando
Powered By Perform