VANCOUVER, B.C – The Vancouver Whitecaps selected Erik Hurtado with the 5th overall pick in the MLS SuperDraft on January 17. The Beaverton, Oregon, native had an outstanding collegiate career with the Santa Clara Broncos and he is hoping to turn that into a successful career with the Whitecaps. Hurtado has been a popular player at Whitecaps training camp in Burnaby this week. The rookie is enjoying himself as he gets integrated into the Whitecaps systems. His teammates have been welcoming him by making sure he carries the ball bag and pylons away after each training session. After catching his breath Hurtado had time for an interview on a variety of topics.
How does it feel to be drafted by the Vancouver Whitecaps?
Erik Hurtado: It feels great, I’m honoured that they’re having faith in me that I’m going to come and provide for their club. It’s close to home in Oregon, I’m use to this weather, it’s a new city and I’m really looking forward to getting to know it.
Did you know any Whitecaps players prior to being drafted by the team?
Erik Hurtado: I know Joe Cannon because he went to Santa Clara and he’s kind of a legend there as a goal keeper. I heard about him and I knew he played keeper here so a familiar face is nice.
In your first few days of training camp what has impressed you the most?
Erik Hurtado: All the guys are nice and real friendly. On the field they’re very verbal telling me what to do and when to do it and not being too harsh about it but teaching me and learning me through it. The work rate is phenomenal, on the field they’re giving 100% all the time and it’s just really great.
On the pitch what are you working on?
Erik Hurtado: Working on 1’s and 2’s, wall passes with the players, moving off the ball when the ball is on one side of the field and moving over to the other side and creating space to get the ball.
Do you think you’ll be able to crack the Whitecaps roster on opening day?
Erik Hurtado: I’m going to do what I can. That’s my number one goal right now to get on that starting lineup and I’m going to do what I can to make that starting lineup.
What have you been told you need to work and improve on in order to reach that goal?
Erik Hurtado: I need to work on moving off the ball, creating space for myself, moving the defender away from me and checking to the ball so I have more space to go at defenders and create opportunities. I think if I do that I should be looking pretty good.
What can you tell me about your best qualities on the pitch?
Erik Hurtado: I like to think of myself as a pretty athletic player so I try to use that to the best of my abilities. If I get space I’m going to go and defenders but I’ve got to be smart when I get the ball and have a defender on me. I’ve got to use my team around me to help me out. If I try and dribble every time it’s easy for a defender to read me so I’ve got to be a versatile player to be able to pass, move, and dribble at the right times.
What position are you most comfortable playing?
Erik Hurtado: Upfront anywhere on the left and right, anywhere I can get isolation and go at defenders and use my speed.
What about the Midfield?
Erik Hurtado: I think we’re playing with attacking wide players so we get up and if I’m back playing defense then I can get up the line going forward.
What do you like to do off the pitch?
Erik Hurtado: I like to listen to music, and make music. You can have fun with it. I like rapping a little bit, freestyling with your friends just to pass time by so music is no.1
Who is your favourite Rap artist?
Erik Hurtado: I really like Blue Scholars. He’s a guy out of Seattle, and he doesn’t rap about all the money, cars, and things. He talks about real life things, life stories, struggles, and making a better life for yourself. I think that really has heart to it, and that’s the kind of stuff I like.
You like to freestyle in your spare time, where can people hear your music?
Erik Hurtado: If you want to hear it you can come to me and ask me about it.
Can you tell everyone about your Rap name?
Erik Hurtado: My friends call me E but when I’m rapping it’s E-Money.
Your hairstyle is very important to you, what type of hairstyle rituals do you have?
Erik Hurtado: I like to line myself up every five days.
Erik Hurtado: It’s like a trim and then the three lines every five days. I like to get a haircut at least every week and a half to two weeks. I’m actually about to go and get a haircut. I found a barbershop in downtown Vancouver so I’m going to go there and get a little faded.
Why three lines?
Erik Hurtado: Back in high school for the state championship I scored a hat-trick and we won 3-0. Ever since then I did three lines for a hat-trick.
What are your impressions of Vancouver?
Erik Hurtado: I’m staying at the BLANK right now and it’s a lovely hotel. It’s kind of right in the heart of downtown right next to Robson St. I drove down there and saw all the shopping centres, and all the food places. It’s awesome!! I’m so excited to get to know the city.
Best of luck Erik, and welcome to Vancouver.
Erik Hurtado: Thank You very much.