lieu of the World Cup qualifying draw, I thought
I should hear from one of Canada's top soccer
players and MVP of the CONCACAF Gold Cup 2007
Julian De Guzman. The 26 years old Julian De
Guzman is of Jamaican and Filipino decent and
was scouted while with North Scarborough Youth
Soccer Club in Toronto. He is the first Canadian
player to play in Spain's La liga with Club
Deportivo de La Coruña and became only the
second Canadian to play in the Bundesliga with
Hanover 96 in Germany.
Hey Julian! What's up?
A: I'm fine! I'm in Barcelona preparing
for a match tonight. It's gonna to be tough but
it would be an experience to remember. I am
playing tonight and Camp Nou Stadium in
Barcelona is one of my favourite stadiums that
I've played in in my career.
Did you hear about the World Cup qualifying
draw? What you think of the match up with you
and St Vincent and the Grenadines since Canada
has never played them before? If you defeat SVG
more than likely Canada would have to face
Mexico, Honduras and Jamaica. With Jamaica
hitting stride, I think you guys would have to
hit your Gold Cup form to be competitive. What
do you think?
I did hear about our match against SVG in June.
I'm pretty excited about the start of the WC
Qualifier campaign. It will be a group of death
if we make it to the next round. We are still
trying to gel together with the next two
friendlies ahead of us. We will have a committed
and competitive squad ready by summer. I would
even add that the quality of the national team
could result in a better team than our CONCACAF
team. It's just a matter of getting the right
I guess by now you may know that most people
call me "midget" in the Caribbean Community in
Canada and in the Caribbean, because I used to
be short, but back then I did not let it hold me
back from making it to the T&T national squad
amongst other accomplishments as a player.
Obviously you have had the same size challenges
as I did but you took your game to another
level. Is there any specific incident or
situation in regards to your size that you
encountered which you used to motivate yourself?
A: I've had my rough sides in trying to
make it because of my size. I've been cut from
provincial and national teams and at some point
I wanted to give up because of the constant
criticism of my height. But my main push was to
pave the way for my younger brother and prove to
him that if you want something in life, you
gotta fail to succeed. And the only person who
can stop you is God and yourself.
Q: I realize that you are close to your
Canadian teammates but which player are you the
closest with and which player, when he is having
one of his rare bad games, would trigger you to
step up and give 110% to pick up the team?
A: I'm pretty close to a lot of the boys. But
Dwayne (De Rosario) for me would have to be the
bigger brother I look up to whenever we meet up.
I grew up in Scarborough following him. I even
played against him when he was with GS United.
He's a pioneer to the game and an example I
looked up too back than and today. He's also a
great guy off the pitch which makes him special.
Julian I think you still have a lot to offer
with your skill and talent. Is there anything
you would like to accomplish before your playing
career is over to add to your CONCACAF Gold Cup
2007 MVP award?
A: Most definitely take Canada
to a World Cup. That would be the ultimate goal
for me. Putting Canada on the football map would
save a lot of talented Canadians who struggle to
get a fair chance overseas. Winning titles would
also be in my plans. Gold Cup or Domestic League
Titles are beautiful things to have in anybody's
END-NOTE: Julian De Guzman's FC Deportivo
team lost to host FC Barcelona later on that
evening after taking an early lead on a goal
scored by Cristian at the second minute mark.
Ronaldinho equalized on a penalty kick just
before the half and Xavi scored at the 70th
minute to give Barcelona a 2-1 win.