YA BEST XI: DANNY CALIFF
Current Aalborg and former Los Angeles and San Jose defender Danny Califf has taken time out from summer break to answer your Best XI submissions.
I) How is the culture different in Denmark than in the USA? What are some things that were hard to get used to?
- Tony Perdue, San Francisco, California
The culture here is actually pretty similar. The obvious differences are the food and holidays.
Stores and things also close much earlier and are not open on Sundays. I think that actually has been the biggest change: not having the convenience of just shooting over to the store to get something whenever.
II) Could you please compare and contrast your training regimen with Aalborg to what you experienced in MLS?
- Sam Elbouffi, Orlando, Florida
The training regimen here is much more intense on an everyday basis. I put in more time at the training ground with breakfast and lunch at the club, as well as out on the field.
Competition and physical play are the norm, much more so than my experience in MLS. But I feel like the level really isn't much higher. It is a completely different style and attitude.
III) What do you think you need to work on in order make the 2010 World Cup team?
- Jason Frerichs, South Padre Island, Texas
I need to be more confident and consistent on the international level, be willing to step up and organize more, and take more advantage of my opportunity when and if it comes again.
IV) What is your favorite surf spot, why, and are you long or short board?
Christopher Dill, Culver City, California
I short board (6'4"). My home spot is Newport, but I would have to say my favorite spot is Trestles. The quality is much better and it is not too much of a haul from where I used to live.
V) Seeing as not that many people in America know that much about the Danish league, can you say three things that the Danish League is overall better than MLS at, and three things that MLS is better than Denmark at?
- Michael Thomas, Jackson, Mississippi
I don't know if I can really give three of each. I think in Denmark the weather and the pitch plays much more of a factor in the game and the style, so I enjoy the (ground passing) style in MLS better.
But I think that fact breeds a faster more intense game in Denmark. Every training is tough.
The attitude of each and every player is much more competitive, for spots on the team as well as the starting 11.
VI) Do you hope to use your experience at Aalborg as a possible springboard to a more prestigious European league, such as the English Premier League or the Bundesliga?
- Ben Clanton, Starkville, Mississippi
That is exactly my hope!!
VII) My little brother has been playing with Aalborg youth teams for a couple years now and he says it is good quality over there (compared to the States). What is your view? You came from Southern California too (where the soccer is at a great level, if not the best in the US), so I would like to hear your opinion.
- Eric Lona, Carlsbad, California
I think on the youth level we have an edge with playing year round and the quality of the fields. But I think in the late teens and when you start to play with the top two teams, the play levels out.
Over here, by that time either you are going to make it as a footballer or your not, so the competitiveness becomes much higher.
In the States, you have going to college, where you can mature and play and then maybe MLS. A lot of the guys here don't have much to fall back on so it can get much more intense.
VIII) When did you get your first tattoo and how long did it take you to finish the sleeve?
- Erik Purvis, Indianapolis, Indiana
I got my first tattoo in 2002, and I started the sleeve about 1 1/2 years later. It is still not all the way done, but almost.
IX) What's the overall attitude towards your being an American playing overseas?
- Bryan German, Sandwich, Massachusetts
We are gaining much more respect on the international level. We have a reputation for being winners and hard working, good people.
All the players who have come over have done a great job and made a good impression as people, not just as players.
X) Are you worried that Denmark is not a big enough stage to be noticed for USMNT duty?
- Jim Bannister, Charlotte, North Carolina
No, I came here to use this as a springboard for my career to a bigger European league. If I am doing well here, then I will get my shot.
I just have to be ready to grab a hold and not let go! In this, I have no doubt.
XI) What is the best part of your game, and what do you need to work on the most?
- Joe Link, Springfield, Illinois
I think I am a good organizer and ball winner. I am not going to be the playmaker out of the back, but I play simple and safe.
I think I need to carry the confidence I have on the club level to the international level.