The 2012 MLS season has been filled with disapointment in the eyes of all associated with Chivas USA. Tristan Bowen is one of the up and coming first teamers looking to break through into a regular. The skilful and talented winger took time out of his hectic schedule to talk all things Chivas and his Belgian experience. Exclusive for www.soccernightexclusive.wordpress.com

First And Foremost, For the British readers, How would you describe your playing style and your strengths ?

I am a fast winger, who likes to operate the line the proper way. Also I am skilful on the ball in close quarters, but most effective when given space to run full speed at a player. I Like to get a good amount of crosses and shots off throughout the match. Good with both feet as well.

What age and how did you get into soccer ?

I believe that I started when I was about 11 years old, but I didn’t start playing organised football until I was 13.

Have you always wanted to become a professional soccer player ?

No. Before I fell in love with football, my dream was to become a doctor in the ER.

Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration growing up ?

My Mother was my biggest inspiration.

At LA Galaxy you came through the youth ranks, How would you sum up the youth system at LA ?

I didn’t spend a whole lot of time in the youth system. At the time when I came about, the US Soccer Development Academy was in the early stages of being developed. I did however play with the LA Galaxy’s U-20 team that participated in the USL amateur divisions and 2 MLS SUM Cups with the U-17. Playing with the 20’s for me was beneficial because I was able to train and play alongside the elite college players that Southern California had to offer at the age of 16 and 17. A lot of whom are currently in the MLS now.

What did you learn during your time at LA Galaxy ?

How to be a good professional. Making sure that I do the little things right. The little things matter the most in the grand scheme of things

Do you hold any bitterness towards LA, when they did trade you away ?

It was unexpected, but no. At the end of the day, this is a business and if the organisation feels as if I weren’t of value to them anymore then it’s time to move.

Over hear in Britain David Beckham is a national treasure. Having been in the same side as him, What would you say he is like as a person ?

I thought he was a nice guy. Was more than happy to lend a helping hand whenever I asked his opinion about a situation in a match. Overall, nice guy.

 You was also in the same roster as Landon Donovan. What has he done for soccer in America ?

I think his résumé speaks for itself. He’s the face of US Soccer and has been for countless years. He’s one of a few Americans that have gone abroad and done well for themselves. He, among others has opened the door for other Americans who are looking to make the jump.

In December 2011 you was traded to Chivas USA. What did you feel in regards to the move ?

I felt like it was a good opportunity to come to a place where I can continue to develop as a player.

Did you settle in straight away ?

Yes and no. The owners, coaches, and players all believed that I was someone that could come in and help the team. They made me feel welcome right away. However I had a string of frustrating injuries that kept me out for a good portion of the season. I found it quite difficult to establish myself on the team after that.

 Chivas USA are renowned for their technical and possession soccer. Does coach Robin Fraser build his game plans and practices around this philosophy ?

Yes, a lot of what we do is based around the idea of dictating the game through possession.

With six games left, what are you looking to achieve for the remainder of the season ? (personally)

Contribute. Do my job to the best of my ability.

What is the team looking to accomplish for the rest of the games ahead ?

Gain a spot into the playoffs. At the end of the day, all that matters is the trophy.

What have you achieved so far this season ?

Not a whole lot, I’ve only been back for a handful of games.

Being an Aston Villa supporter myself I have followed the career of Juan Pablo Angel for a while. How would you describe him as person and as a player?

Juan Pablo is a very intelligent player. Understands the game well, knows how to be effective and is always willing to lend the younger attackers a helping hand in how to play their position.

What do you learn from Juan Pablo Angel ?

Most notably ,he  gave me some tips about how to set myself up to take an excellent first touch.

You have played for the US at U18 and U20 level. What is it like to represent your country ?

It’s something special to be recognized as one of the best players in your country at that particular age group. It’s a proud and humbling moment.

I guess you’re looking to catch the eye of USMNT Head Coach Jurgen Klinsmann ?

That’s not something that I wake up thinking about every day. Obviously playing for the senior side is something every player would like to do, but in order for that to happen I need to establish myself as a standout player first.

Recently you went out on loan to Belgian 2nd Division side KSV Roeselare. How quickly did you settle into life in Europe ?

Probably not until the second half of the season. Everything was so different, I was experiencing something new literally every day. It took me a good 4 months to establish some sort of normality and level of comfort there.

What is the standard like in Belgian football ?

The second division is obviously not as good as the MLS, but I thought the league was an aggressive one. Challenges flying in from left and right. The MLS is more technical and tactical.

What did you learn during your spell in Belgium ?

It really gave me an opportunity to take a hard look at my game. I’ve realized what everyone has been telling me for years, that once I can utilize my pace and technical abilities at the right times; I’ll make a defenders life difficult.

Would you ever consider a return to Europe, whether it is back to Belgium or somewhere different ?

I’d definitely like to go back, but to a first division club.

Where would you like to see your career in five years’ time ?

I’ve always been told to never let others know you plan, I keep that close to heart. But I can tell you that it will be somewhere in Europe

What advice would you give to any youngsters wishing to follow in your footsteps ?

Work hard, play the game passionately, be a student of the game, stay humble, enjoy it, and most importantly don’t ever let others opinion affect your dreams.

Team-Mates (Chivas USA)

Who is the loudest ? Shalrie Joseph

Best friend on the roster ? Juan Agudelo

Most skilful ? Laurent Courtois

Funniest ? Has to be Me

Worst taste in music ? Not going to say a name, but he plays tons of reggaeton

Worst dress sense ? Haha no comment

I would like to personally thank Tristan Bowen for his time and efforts during the interview process.

By Anthony Bedworth

@maplesoccer123

@usbritain05

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