Mark Berson Media Availability — 11/1/19

Mark Berson Media Availability — 11/1/19


(rooster crowing) – [Interviewer] What
does it mean to have one of your guys have their jersey retired? First one. – Yeah, it’s just a wonderful feeling. It’s like a proud parent,
lot of you guys are parents, so you know the feeling. You know, to have Clint go
in with the very first class of inductees, to have
their jerseys retired at the university is a
wonderful recognition of his achievement and you’re just, you’re just
like a proud proud papa. You want to step back and watch and enjoy. But, you know, it’s really justly deserved and I really thank Coach Tanner and the athletic department and the entire initiative
to set this thing in motion. – [Interviewer] How does
it kind of come together, picking him? What kind of role did
you kind of have in that? – Well, there’s a
committee that does that. The coaches put forth their nominees and then there’s a
committee that does that and you know, we were just
really honored to have Clint be one of the people selected. – [Interviewer] What was that moment like, first when he was selected, then when you got to make
the call and tell him that? – Yeah, that was great. I was in Coach Tanner’s office and Coach, you know, Tanner called him and as Clint said, he
was on the other end. And yeah, it was a, I
think a, it was emotional and it was memorable. You know it’s one of those
place marking moments where you feel like, wow this is a great
thing that’s happening. – [Interviewer] What
are your memories of him as an 18 year old coming here? – 17. – [Interviewer] 17. – So here’s the thing. 93 we played in the championship game. Clint came in, in 94, and we
had a really good team in 94. We had all, a lot of pieces in place. And Clint came in as a
vibrant, attacking guy that, you know, could just
basically do his thing and we had everybody around
him to kind of hold the fort. And you could tell then,
you know it’s tough when you come in as a young guy and you’re coming in
to an established team. You know, they, he did,
had to earn his way into that group. But the talent, you know, and the ability everybody
could see there was going to be something really great there. Oddly enough, I tell
this story all the time. I don’t know if Clint believes it or not but you know, at the end of that year, Clint was as a player
switching on and switching off. In other words anytime the
ball was near him, bam, he was electric, he was going. But throughout his career,
he had just been the guy that everybody gets the ball
to and then the game changes. At the college level, it’s
a little bit different. Everything’s tighter, the
transition is tighter, the defending is tighter, the organization of opponents is tighter so we really worked on
his defending, actually. And not that he was going
to win the ball, you know, or be the guy making the tackle but he was in the moment
then when the ball changed. And that difference of being
completely in the moment, not switching in, switching out, I think was really a big
factor in him, you know, leading the nation in
scoring the next year. Consensus All-American
and you know, again, I’m, we didn’t try to turn
him into a defensive player, we just tried to make him really aware of both sides of the ball and I think that was a big growth period for Clint in his career and, you know, course he
never looked back after that. – [Woman] Anything else for coach? – [Interviewer] Do you remember that Clemson game he’s talking about? – Yeah, yeah. I mean the atmosphere in this
place was great, you know. And, you know, a lot of
times you get something, you give something up but we didn’t have a big
stadium at that point. The stadium was built
in 95 so right after, in his second year. And, but, you know the
fans were right on top of the players. I mean there was like a tape barrier here and when a guy took a
throw and he had to back up into the crowd, you know,
to take the throw in. So it was very hostile place to play. And now, obviously, you
know, you get something else, you get a beautiful facility but it’s a little more antiseptic than it was back in those days. It was, it was a little
hostile for people here. But, yeah I mean, you know
again, thanks to again, Mike McGee, you know for
putting things in motion for us and Eugene Stone for building this stadium and, you know, Clint was,
you know, outstanding in that first year we were in here. – [Interviewer] When you
were watching him play during his college years, did
you think this was possible? That one day he would
be honored like this? – Well, not really because
we didn’t have this mechanism in place. You know, Coach Tanner put this and his executive staff, put
this whole thing together, but to know that he would
be one of the greats? Yeah, you knew he was going
to be big in the game. You know, you don’t know
that a guy is going to go on and have, I think 40 something matches with the national team. A number of years in the MLS. Have the goal of the year in the MLS. Be on the ESPYs. Score in the world cup that put us through to the next round. Did I know that? Mm, no, no. I didn’t have that one
pulled up in my head but to know that he was going
to go on and be special? Yeah, I mean I think everybody knew that. And, you know it’s a credit to him. I’m going to say something else. A lot of people don’t realize
what Clint had to go through to get where he is. You see the end result and you think wow he’s had a great career but he, after, after
in the NCAA tournament at the end of his sophomore year, when he was leading the nation in scoring, he tore his ACL here and had
to have that operated on. Had to wear a brace
his entire second year, his, after that, his third year. Then went in, was drafted by LA, went in and played with LA and the Metro Stars. Then tore his other ACL,
had to come back from that. I think, if I’m not mistaken,
it was only a short time before the world cup. You know, still made the world cup roster. You know, and was, you
know so he came back from a lot of things. Those are not insignificant injuries and the guy just has a will power and you know, he overcame a lot of things and I think that’s the key to his success has been, yeah he’s got some flamboyance and some irreverence and you know anybody that played with him or watched him, you guys are all kind of young, but you know, he didn’t,
he made his own rules as he played the game. And that’s what he’s most remembered for but not many people remember
what he had to overcome to play. And that’s a lot of work
that goes on off camera that, to put him back where he could play and I think that’s a
real big important part of who Clint is today. – [Interviewer] Do you know where you were when he scored the goal in the world cup? – Uh, I don’t remember where but I remember going completely crazy. (crowd laughing) There’s two goals, his
goal and then Landen’s goal in the world cup are two that I, you know, probably almost passed
out because I jumped from a sitting position to
a standing position so fast. Yeah, but, unbelievable. I mean you’ve seen it. You guys have all seen it but to receive a ball over the top and receive it with one foot and strike it in the next
step with the other foot and finish in that environment as the visiting team against the home team to silence the team, the entire stadium is just unbelievable. And so yeah, great moment, yeah. Yeah, I remember that, I surly do. – [Interviewer] What’d
you think of the Mohawk? – Mohawk? I think Pat’s, Clint’s
mom Pat and I thought about the same of the Mohawk, not exactly our favorite look. I don’t think Bruce Arena thought it was all that great either but no one was going to be telling
Clint what he was going to do. Pretty much at any point in his career. So, that’s just the kind of guy he is and that’s why he is the way he is cause he’s got that,
he’s got that attitude. – [Interviewer] He had kind of like long blond flowing hair
when he was with you? – Yeah, yeah, yep, yep, yep. The Mohawk didn’t come out
until later on, but yeah.

Author:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *