Kicking it with Ciaran O'Brien

This coming Tuesday the Sounders will face the Charleston Battery on the road in a US Open Cup semifinal. A win, and the final will be played against either New England or DC United - in Seattle. Ciaran O'Brien, on loan to Seattle from the Colorado Rapids, will be a key player in this matchup. I talked with him today about MLS and his temporary return to the Sounders, his hometown team - as well as the team of his brother, Leighton.

Ness: I know you played in the US Open cup qualifiying rounds with Colorado… does that mean you’re cup-tied for Tuesday’s US Open Cup game?
Ciaran: No, because the game I played in with Colorado was a play-in game, so that doesn’t count.

N: Have you had a chance to pick up anything from (Colorado teammate and perennial MLS all-star) Christian Gomez?
C: I definitely have, his creativity and what he does on the ball is unlike anyone in MLS, so he’s a guy you can learn from. You try and watch and imitate what he does because he’s so good on the ball.

N: In your brief time as a pro, what’s the difference you've seen between MLS and USL, in talent?
C: There’s not a big difference at all. The biggest is obviously signing players like Beckham and Blanco. Apart from the big-name players there’s not really a drop. I think for Seattle there’ll be a good transition from USL into MLS, they won’t have a tough time adjusting because they’ve had the open cup matches.

N: Say you have the designated player slot for Seattle or Colorado, doesn’t matter. Who’s the one player in the world you’d want to play alongside?
C: Ooh. Tough question. Any player in the world?
N: Any player, regardless of contract.
C: I’m going to have to come back to that one.

N: I don’t know if you can answer this honestly but right now, at full health, who’s better, you or Leighton?
C: Leighton. He’s got more experience, he’s sharper on the ball so right now, he’s better.

N: I’m sure you’ve watched the Sounders a lot in the past… what’s it like to play for your hometown team?
C: It’s unbelievable. I grew up with Leighton and the Sounders from 2002, 2001 season is when I kinda started hanging around, and then 2002 they had that great year. From then on, I was at the games, warming up with the subs... It didn’t hit me in the Puerto Rico game, but it did at Portland that I was playing and not just sitting on the bench and watching. It was a great feeling, and it’s a great fit for me and the team. Against Portland the last game down there, it was great, playing against them in front of 12 thousand people. It fires you up as much as it fires them up.

N: Last one. It’s a softball question, or a spot-kick I guess, to be sport-appropriate. Best part about playing in Seattle?
C: Being in my hometown around all the guys, and just playing for the team, combination of those two, is great.

N: Any thoughts on the question we skipped over?
C: I’m going to go with Gerrard because I don’t want to say Ronaldo.

Big ups to Ciaran for chatting with me, and the best of luck to him and the Sounders in the Cup.

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