The local media asked a lot of questions of Sounder-to-be Blaise Nkufo today. But the answer that matters most to the most fans came when he was asked what fans can expect of him:
"I hope the best of me, of course," he said. "As a striker, they can expect a lot of goals. But I need my team players and crossing passes. I know what I can do for this team, and I’m going to be focused on my skills: what I’ve done from the past and to do that for the Sounders."
Other highlights from today's question and answer session:
General thoughts: "I’m really happy. I just met with Adrian (Hanauer) and Gary (Wright), and I was really impressed about the facilities, and I really felt that they want me. My decision was easy to take. We did the deal, and I’m really proud to be part of this team."
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Next up, World Cup and then Sounders: "A lot of goals, the next couple of weeks. I’m going to play in the World Cup. I just finished to play with Twente in the league and I need to be again focused for the World Cup, and the next will to be with the Sounders."
Impressions of Sounders training: "I can’t judge really because you need to be on the field with the rest of the players. I wanted to just meet the players, the staff again. I can feel that they’re motivated. They lost the last game, but it’s a great group we can improve with this group."
Following Sounders from across the Atlantic: "I saw some news through the website. I read a little bit. But I was so focused on my competition. You just keep your head clear. But step by step, I’ll have time after the World Cup to know everything about the team."
How long in town? I leave two-three days more and I fly to Switzerland.
MLS vs. Dutch league: "I don’t like to compare. Every league has quality and strength. Soccer is simple: just running after the ball and trying to play as a team. That’s what I’m looking for here."
Why join MLS? "I go with my family. I wanted to start new life. I think I said a few weeks ago I wanted to immigrate to live in this country. For me, I’m still fit, and it gives me the possibility to play two years more. I think I can do it. I can do it. But for me, I would like to live here, and that’s why I came here."
On fans' high expectations for him: "Of course people have expectations. But I think my expectations are higher than the fans or anybody here. I know I have to work hard to show what I can do. I have a name of course, but I start from – how do you say? – zero? Zero. I’m ready."
On finishing one league season and moving straight on to another: "The last years I’ve played so many games. I think I’m fit, fit enough for playing with the Sounders after the World Cup."
What he's heard about the soccer fans here: "I’ve heard they really support the team. I think that’s really great. If every team can get fans like that, it’s great. You can achieve a lot with the fans. They can be the 12th man. We can achieve a lot there."