Matt Clare of the San Diego Sockers
SoccerToday SOCCER NEWS INTERVIEW EXCLUSIVE
The San Diego Sockers are America’s Finest City’s professional soccer team and play fast-paced indoor soccer in the Valley View Casino Center — great for sports fans and families alike, going to a Sockers game is a great night of entertainment. And, for youth soccer players, watching the Sockers pass the ball, score goals and defend their quest for their 15th National Championship is not only fun, it is a great learning experience.
For the 2017/18 Major Arena Soccer League season, SoccerToday will be bringing you all the best in coverage of the San Diego Sockers. Our exclusive interview series will bring you inside the minds of players, coaches, and management, as the Sockers begin the hunt for their 15th championship,
After an exciting home opener on Sunday, November 5th, SoccerToday sat down with the game winning goalscorer, Matt Clare.
Diane Scavuzzo: Where did you grow up?
Matt Clare: I was born in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida but grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina and played for Charlotte Soccer. Eventually, I moved to IMG Academy and trained there from 2004-2008.
Diane Scavuzzo: Did you know you always wanted to play soccer?
Matt Clare: I grew up watching my dad, John Clare, play professional soccer and would go to practices with him.
Soccer has always been my life.
Diane Scavuzzo: Your father was a pro — what was the biggest impression that made on you?
Matt Clare: The atmosphere — growing up, I saw kids asking for autographs … and it was amazing the way people treated my brother and me. I remember being a youth player growing surrounded by great coaches like Thomas Rongen — now he is a big scout for the Men’s National Team.
Diane Scavuzzo: What inspired you — and what advice can you share with youth players?
Matt Clare: My dad was my biggest inspiration. He taught me that regardless of whenever you step on the field, you have to give it your best.
You can’t take a day off. You always have to give your best every day, even at practice.
I have always had that mentality. I want to be the best that I can be.
I go to training to learn — even though I have been playing professionally for a while.
My dad instilled in me that you must put in the work to be successful. I attribute everything to my dad.
Diane Scavuzzo: What do you like best about the San Diego Sockers?
Matt Clare: I love the camaraderie among our guys. We have a fantastic group of guys. This year, everyone is on the same page, everyone has the same mindset. It is completely humbling. We just want to win a championship.
We have one common goal.
You look at our team on paper and it’s a pretty scary team to play against.
Captain Kraig Chiles told me that if I score 20 goals—it doesn’t matter, all we want to do is win a championship. This shows me where the team is at.
Diane Scavuzzo: What did you think of last night’s game?
Matt Clare: It was an emotional game. We got wrapped up sometimes instead of just staying focused but the resilience of the group is fantastic. It makes things that much better when you play bad but rally and come out with a win.
Diane Scavuzzo: How have you grown as a player from last year?
Matt Clare: I wear my heart on my sleeve and sometimes I let that emotion show. I really tried to work on how I talk to people and approach every single game. People could see my body language and my frustration while I was on the field.
When you show that emotion as a player, everything else goes out the window.
I had to humble myself. I’m fortunate that I get to wake up every day and play soccer. It is my livelihood.
Diane Scavuzzo: What was it like playing against Nick Perera?
Matt Clare: Playing against Nick is fantastic. He is one of the best targets in the league – and his attitude is always great.
Diane Scavuzzo: What would you like to say to the fans?
Matt Clare: I’m very grateful that I’m here, playing for the San Diego Sockers and that I get to play in front of the best fans in the league.
Diane Scavuzzo: Lastly, how did you feel about scoring the winning goal in the last 40 seconds of last night’s game?
Matt Clare: I felt relieved. Honestly, I had a couple of chances and the ball finally went in. I thought I was cursed and had been hitting the cross bar a lot — and I had a couple attempts already that night. I’m relieved to get the monkey off my back.
I will go to training this week and every week — and work to just get better over the course of this season. I am excited and want to help our team win the championship.