In our latest look at some of the new players at Vancouver Whitecaps FC, whitecapsfc.com's Carl Valentine speaks to midfielder Shea Salinas.
A former San Jose Earthquakes and Philadelphia Union player, Salinas was acquired by Whitecaps FC in the 2010 MLS Expansion Draft. We learn more about the former Furman University product in this Question and Answer session.
Q: Welcome to Vancouver Shea, what are your first impressions of your new home?
A: I have been to Toronto when I was playing for San Jose and Philadelphia, but other than that, it’s my first time living in Canada, which makes it a new and different experience.
Q: Vancouver is your third MLS club, do you use the experience you have gained with San Jose and Philadelphia to learn how to make this opportunity more long term?
A: Yes, absolutely. I think I have learned a ton over the last three years. This is my third expansion team, so I can bring a lot to the table regarding what it takes the first year, in order to get wins and help the team chemistry. I hope to use my experience in the MLS to get us off to a strong start.
Q: You were a track and field star in high school and was a district champion in the mile and five kilometer run. The coaches have spoken about the speed you bring to the team, but you are also one of the fittest players on the team, having won the Cooper test early in the week. Are you focusing more on your speed or endurance?
A: I definitely have more pride in my fitness than my speed; I feel you cannot utilize your speed, if you don’t maintain your fitness. My goal when I play is to be strong over the 90 minutes and keep up my speed the whole time, so I really pride myself on my fitness.
Q: In the past, there has concern that college soccer does not prepare you for MLS, how was your experience?
A: The college season is a short one, which is a disadvantage, but there were no other opportunities for me at the time, other than play at the college level. Now the MLS is pushing academies, which gives players other options. My time in college was a learning experience as far as you grow as a person. You are in an environment, where you are away from your parents, but it does prepare you in a lot of ways for a professional life.
Q: Speaking of being away from your parents - in order to be fit, you have to eat right. Are you a good cook?
A: I would like to think so. My wife is a very good cook, so I’m very lucky. But she works nine to five, so I am the one cooking more than her, but she has taught me how to cook really good food.
Q: Do you have a specialty dish then?
A: Yes, it's tortilla soup, and it's very good.
Q: I will be waiting for my invite. Last question, if you entered a talent contest, what would your talent be?
A: My mum said I am tone deaf, so it would not be anything musical. I would do a Cooper test as a talent contest.