Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Soccer Life - John Koluder

Indy Eleven's Public Relations Director John Koluder takes part in this edition of the Soccer Life, which I hope with his help becomes a more frequent occurrence this year with other Indy Eleven staff and players.  By the nature of this questionnaire, this provides a relatively surface level introduction to John and his way into the Soccer Life, but if you have an hour and a half, I would highly recommend listening to the Bloody Shambles boys' podcast interview with John from a few weeks ago. Good stuff.

Oh, and if anybody can locate a 2006 episode of What's Wrong With...Soccer? that includes an appearance by John, please point us all to the link.  Yes, our favorite PR flack has an IMDB listing.

1. Name:
John Koluder

2. Role (Player, Parent, Coach, Referee, General Spectator, All of the Above, None of the Above, Other):
- Indy Eleven PR Director

3. Soccer-specific Nickname (and any story behind it):
- Never been given one, but if I did it would probably be “Gimpy” as I tend to injure myself more than I should when I attempt to play!

4. Age started playing:
- 9 years old … and retired by 11

5. First recollection of the game:
- Running around the fields of Marion playing for the PAL league’s team sponsored by “Keep it Simple Photography”

6. Highest level of play achieved:
- Said Police Athletic League team in Marion, which is to say not very high

7. Last competitive match – Date (if known) & Level of Play
- If you don’t count the IUPUI Rec League a couple of summers ago, the D.C. United Media Game in 2002 (winning goalkeeper in a 7-6 battle on the RFK Stadium pitch).

8. Position:
- Usually play fullback, although I fancy myself a true #6 in my dreams

9. Jersey number:
- #15 (when possible)

10. Most memorable moment(s):
- During my youth soccer days, I got hit in the face with a free kick by Tricia Streeter (the best player in our league) right before halftime. At the start of the second half, I immediately went and kicked/tripped her off the kickoff and got a yellow card. Well worth it!

11. Least memorable moment(s):
- Two-footing myself and doing a ligament in my foot during a pick-up game in Salt Lake City (don’t ask how one can two-foot himself … it’s possible, believe me).

12. Favorite team:
- Indy Eleven obviously, but back-up would be Real Salt Lake

13. Favorite player:
- Historical: Chris Armas

- Current: Michael Bradley

14. Indoor vs Outdoor:
- Outdoor, always

15. Grass vs Turf:
- Grass, always

16. Coaching experience:
- Was assistant coach for a U-10 team in Chicago for about 4 months … that was enough for me!

17. Refereeing experience:
- None, although I always thought I had the temperament for it

18. Favorite World Cup moment(s):
- Tie - Landon Donovan goal vs. Algeria in 2010 and watching the USA-Belgium 2014 game with thousands of folks on Mass Ave

19. Honors/Awards:
- Won the 2010 MLS PR Department of the Year award when at Real Salt Lake … and the local weekly arts rag out there gave me a “Best of Utah” award in 2011. I hold both in equal regard. Also lucky enough to have been on staff for RSL’s MLS Cup run in 2009 and for the Chicago Fire’s 2003 & 2006 U.S. Open Cup titles … didn’t help them win, but I got rings and medals anyways!

20. Other sports played (and to what level):
- Let’s see … played baseball (2-time little league all-star 2nd baseman!), basketball, and football on organized teams … none past elementary school!

21. Other Comments:
- Weeks before I started my internship at D.C. United in 2002, MLS had contracted both Florida teams and there were severe doubts as to whether professional soccer in the USA would go the way of the dinosaur. I’m glad to see those fears were horribly wrong and to have played a very, very minuscule part in helping the sport grow, especially here in my home state with Indy Eleven the last three years.

1 comment:

Don said...

I know that I shouldn't, but I love John's response to No. 10.