BerkeleySportsBlog.com's interview with former Cal Soccer All American and current Seattle Sounder, Tyson Wahl.
#1 in our segment on members of the Cal Bear family who now ply their trade in Major League Soccer. First off, is Sounders defender Tyson Wahl. Wahl was a star defender for the Golden Bears from 2oo1-2oo5, starting each season for the Golden Bears. Tyson led California to the Sweet Sixteen in his senior season, serving as the team's captain. Wahl finished his career at Cal with 8 goals and was named a NCAA All-American in his senior season. Here is BSB's exclusive interview with Tyson Wahl.
Hometown: Newport Beach, CA
Q: Tyson, can you tell me about the time that you spent at California?
A: "I had a great time at Cal, it was a great experience and I couldn't ask for more. I wish that we could have done a little better and maybe gotten to the final four but it is what it is. I had a great time at the University and really enjoyed the Berkeley Culture . Coming from Orange County, I was in a bubble growing up, but going to Berkeley was a completely different bubble but i feel it was good for me. Overall it was a great experience."
Q: How do you rate the Soccer program at Cal?
A: "Kevin Grimes (Cal Head Coach) has done a great job with the program and he knows a lot about College Soccer. He has really helped start the turn around. His recruiting is very solid and he has the team on the right path."
Q. What is the presence of Cal Soccer in the MLS?
A. "I feel that the program is slowly gaining in prominence. Cal is slowly getting more players into the MLS which is a good sign. It is not yet up there with larger programs such as Maryland and UCLA and doesn't carry that type of weight but having players more players in the MLS will only help boost the profile."
Q: How often do you keep in touch with the guys on the team?
A: "Very frequently, I just had a few of my buddies from Berkeley up for our match against Barcelona. Its great."
Q: How was your time in Kansas City, and what was the transition to MLS?
A:"The first two years in the MLS were more learning than playing than I would have liked. However, playing in the MLS was a real competitive reality check. In college, you're used to being one of the best players but in Major League Soccer everyone is a great player so you have to work very hard to get a starting position. I got some experience after sitting but I was able start last season. When I eventually left to join Seattle, I had mixed feelings but it is a good start."
Q: How do you rate how the season has gone with the Sounders?
A: "The season started very strong but there has been some lack of intensity and complacency. We've played very well at home but we don't have the same intensity on the road. However, a couple of wins and we're back on the top of the table so the season is going well."
Q: How do you rate your chances to get a starting position with Seattle?
A: "There is a ton of depth in Seattle with at Center back, so the move to Left Back has given me chances to start. I've got to keep growing as a player and take advantage of those chances so I can start."
Thanks to Tyson for the interview and we'll be unveiling our next interview tomorrow as we sit down with former Cal and current D.C. United midfielder Andrew Jacobson.