Oct. 2, 2011
SEATTLE - Sophomore Spencer Richey earned the starting position in goal as a freshman in 2010 for the Huskies and has continued doing a great job in 2011. He ranks among the best keepers in the country in save percentage and goals against average.
Check out the Q&A with the Seattle native below.
Gohuskies.com: When did you start playing soccer?
Spencer Richey: "Yikes, as far as I can remember. I could probably say around age 4 or 5."
GH: Did or does anyone else in your family play soccer?
SR: "Well my sister still does, she 15, but overall I would say my family was a baseball family. At least until I started having a lot of success in soccer, then it grew on them."
GH: Did you play any other sports in HS? If so, what?
SR: "Yes I played football, free safety to be exact. It's actually a lot like goalkeeping."
GH: What made you decide to move to Florida to pursue soccer?
SR: "It was a no brainer to me. I still remember the phone call. I was sitting in my basement when Paul Grafer, US goalkeeper coach of the U-17 National Team, called me and asked if I wanted to join the U-17 National Team and move to Florida for their residency program. It was an instant yes for me and my dad, but it took my mom a while to get over."
GH: Have you always been a goalie? When did you know goalie was the position for you?
SR: "Not always, I started as a forward. When I was 9, I was playing on an ECFC U-11 team (a local Seattle club) at a tournament in Yakima and our keeper got hurt with about 1 minute left in the game. Our coach looked around because we had no extra keepers, and asked who won our 1v1 basketball competition the day before, and the next thing I know I was putting a pair of goalie gloves on. We proceeded to win the game in a shootout and I've been a keeper ever since."
GH: When did you start thinking about playing in college?
SR: "About my freshman year of high school."
GH: Why UW?
SR: "I chose UW because I'm all about the Dawgs. I knew when I committed the program I wanted to be a part of bringing the program back to one the elites it had been in the past. Plus, after living in Florida for a little over 2 years, it is sweet to go to school that is 2 minutes from your house."
GH: As only a sophomore but someone who also started last year, how big of a role on the team do you play?
SR: "I consider myself a big role on the team. I came into school a couple quarters earlier than my class so it gave me time to mature and settle into the atmosphere. Also, I feel like my experience with the U-17 national team forced me to mature at a young age, but more importantly it also gave me lots of unique experiences. The one I have the most pride in is being able to play well in games even with lots of adversity around."
GH: Most goalkeepers have to be leaders on the field, do you agree? How do you direct or lead your team during a game? Why types of things do you say to them?
SR: "Oh yeah, definitely agree. During a game a huge part of my job is to be constantly reminding guys of their roles and keep them motivated. Since the rest of the 10 guys are working a lot more than I am, when they get tired I try to help them stay sharp with their decision making and movements."
GH: What are your personal goals this season and in your career at UW?
SR: "Soccer wise I would love to make it to the NCAA tournament this season, and getting an automatic bid through winning the PAC-12 would be a great way to do it. The biggest one for me though it to help put the program back on the map. There is no reason that with the assets and resources UW has, and the soccer city it is located in, it can't be one of the top programs in the country. Outside of soccer, just to grow as a person and a student.
GH: What are you majoring in and how do you want to use it after college?
SR: "I am still undecided, but I am really into business and communications. Either of those or maybe even a combination of the two would be awesome. The business world fascinates me, but I am hoping I can spend some time in the soccer world after college until I have to get a real job."
GH: After college, do you want to continue a career in soccer or coach?
SR: "I've always dreamed of playing professional soccer. To me, Kasey Keller has my dream life. He plays for the Sounders right here in his backyard and mine as well. Not to mention the atmosphere at Century Link Field is unreal."
GH: What is your favorite moment as a Husky so far?
SR: "I think the best moment would either be our win at Stanford last season when we were a man down basically the whole game, or my recent award of defensive MVP of the Husky Classic. With all the quality defenders and goalkeepers in the tourney, it was an honor."
GH: What is your best memory of soccer at any level?
SR: "My best memory in soccer has got to be in October of 2009. I was chosen to be 1 of 21 players in the country to represent the United States in the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup. The first game we had in front of 20-30 thousand people, wearing your countries crest, under the lights, it was one of the best feelings I've ever had."