Russell Teibert is a 19-year-old Midfielder from Niagara Falls, Ontario in his second MLS season with the Vancouver Whitecaps. Teibert is an up and coming player with a great future a head of him who will one day be a household name in MLS and a fixture with the Canadian Men’s National Team. With only 1 game started this season Teibert has found himself stapled to the Whitecaps bench enduring what must be a frustrating season. The speedy winger with hair that would make Cristiano Ronaldo jealous talked to me about his season so far and all things soccer.
What are your thoughts on the Whitecaps season thus far?
Russell Teibert: It’s been a good season we’re in crunch time right now and the last couple games are crucial. We need to stay focused and get some results.
Do you think the Whitecaps will beat out FC Dallas to make the playoffs?
Russell Teibert: Ya I think playoffs is definitely a possibility. We have a great chance at it and I think we’re going to take it.
You haven’t played many games (4) with the Whitecaps this season, are you disappointed in the lack of playing time?
Russell Teibert: Ya it’s been a difficult season. The coaching staff have given me some things I need to work on and I’ve done that. I’m just going to keep staying positive and hopefully get some more playing time.
What do you think you need to do to start earning more playing time?
Russell Teibert: Just whatever time I get to make an impact on the game. Chances will happen by themselves and I just have to take them.
Being a young guy on the Whitecaps who do you look up to for advice?
Russell Teibert: A couple of guys that were here before, like (Eric) Hassli, and Davide (Chiumiento) but now a couple of guys help all the young guys out. Most specifically I’d say John Thorrington.
You can play Winger, Left Midfield, and Left Back but what kind of player do you think you are?
Russell Teibert: I prefer playing on the wing but whatever chance I can get to get on the field I’ll definitely play that position.
Are you happy in Vancouver or are you looking at moving to Toronto closer to your family and friends?
Russell Teibert: No I’m definitely happy in Vancouver it’s become like a second home. I spent some time at TFC when I was younger and I really enjoyed it there but I’m happy in Vancouver.
Growing up in Niagara Falls, Ontario you played minor hockey, are you more of a Toronto Maple Leafs fan, or Buffalo Sabres fan?
Russell Teibert: When I was younger I liked both Buffalo and Toronto, but I don’t think I can support either team right now.
You played AAA Minor Hockey, at what age did you know you wanted to play soccer full-time, and when did you make that decision?
Russell Teibert: The decision came when I was fourteen years- old. The travelling was becoming too much to go to Toronto and back five times a week. I had to make a decision on what I wanted to do because they were both conflicting times and I chose soccer.
Were you a better hockey player or soccer player?
Russell Teibert: I really enjoyed hockey I loved hockey. Any chance I can get to get on the rink now I’d take it. I do miss it sometimes.
You got your first CAP with the Canadian Men’s National Team in August, can you talk about that experience?
Russell Teibert: Ya it was a great experience something I dreamt about since I was a young boy and to have it come true was a great day for me.
You have Italian heritage, did you have any thoughts about playing International for Italy when you were younger?
Russell Teibert: No strictly playing for Canada.
If Canada was playing Italy at the World Cup in Brazil would you support Canada?
Russell Teibert: Of course yes.
Are you expecting to be called up by Canada for this months World Cup Qualifying games?
Russell Teibert: That’s difficult to say I’m not to sure what will happen with the Canadian National Team but like I’ve been saying before if they do call me and if I do get the chance I’ve got to take it.
Your obviously on their radar have they given you any indication as to whether you might be called up?
Russell Teibert: We haven’t spoke much. They just called me to get my first CAP a couple of months back, and I think I made a good impression. That’s the last impression I’ve had with them and hopefully it’s a good one.
Were you surprised not to make the MLS Top “24 under 24”?
Russell Teibert: You know what I’m not surprised that I didn’t make that list. I didn’t really look too much into it to be honest. I just found out that Darren (Mattocks) won number one on the last day or something. I didn’t even know the list had come out… but no it’s not surprising, I haven’t played much this season. Will see what the end of the season brings.
Is there any particular reason why you wear #31 are there any superstitions involved?
Russell Teibert: No I had a chance to wear #12 when I first came here but I’ve always liked something different. I’ve always wanted to be something different so thirty-one was just the number and I just really like it.
What kind of music do you listen to before a game?
Russell Teibert: I don’t really listen to music before a game. I like to just listen to all the sounds and stuff and get focused that way.
What do you like to do for fun in Vancouver?
Russell Teibert: I have a dog now…. it’s not really fun but I have to take it for walks all the time. My girlfriend is out here living with me right now so whatever she’s doing I just join her.
What is your favourite food?
Russell Teibert: My Nana’s pasta.
Who is your favourite European Soccer Team and player?
Russell Teibert: It’s difficult not to say Messi, and Barcelona and I bet you that’s a clichéd answer.
Why do you like to get your haircut every two weeks?
Russell Teibert: Keep it fresh.
Who is your favourite comedian?
Russell Teibert: Greg Klazura.
What about Russell Peters?
Russell Teibert: No (Laughs) Greg Klazura.
Do you have any final comments you’d like to pass on to Whitecaps fans?
Russell Teibert: Be here.
(Video courtesy Vancouver Whitecaps FC