Santa Clara men's soccer goalie Kendall McIntosh (KM) spent last week with the U-21 National Team, playing a scrimmage against an amateur team from Mexico. Below McIntosh talks about his time with the team, when the team has the most fun and if he got his favorite candy or not.
SCU: Glad to have you back from Southern California after your five or six days with the U-21 National team. What are a couple of things you learned last week that you improved on?
KM: Just getting sharp; knowing you have to be sharp right before you go in and play a match. They want to try to assimilate coming in before like, a qualifying game and having only three or four days and then having to go in and play an intense game. I think they did a pretty good job in preparing for us. The group overall was great. Everybody's working hard. Everybody came in fit and it was a good camp. It was a good camp overall.
SCU: When you talked about strengths and weaknesses in the video interview (posted above), did you see a weakness last week that you feel like you worked on some, or something that you'll come back to Santa Clara that you're like, "I really wanna make sure I work on this with Yamo before we leave"?
KM: I still say organization. I thought the time I did play in the game at the end of the week, that was really our focus: organization and making sure everything was clean so the level of sharpness you have going in from the previous trainings. So I'd say keeping my sharpness high on the field while also continuing to work on my tactical side and defending, shape, things like that to help keep the ball in up.
SCU: For people that haven't been to this kind of mini-camp, what are a couple things you guys do off the field? Do you do anything to bond off the field or hang out in each other's rooms, play video games?
KM: All the guys were professionals, for the most part, so you're kind of left to your own devices outside of training. So different guys do different things. I think we bond a lot just through team meals because we have to eat together, and that's always fun. But also hanging out in each other's rooms, like you said. It's always a blast to be with those guys, great guys, always a funny place.
SCU: Any good stories? Funny stories?
KM: I wouldn't say anything funny. There are a lot of jokesters on the team, but it's just a great experience to be in. Every time you get called in with a national team, it's unbelievable.
SCU: What is your goal?
KM: My end goal would be to play in the World Cup, of course, like a full national team World Cup. And I know I have a lot of work ahead of me before I get there, but I think taking the right steps and I'm doing the right things and if it's in my future, that'd be unbelievable. I'd love it. It'd be a dream come true.
SCU: Last question – did you get some Skittles the night before the game?
KM: My mom actually sent me down some Sour Patch, so I have three little bags of Sour Patch Kids.
SCU: Perfect. So you were able to get those.
KM: They were awesome. I was sane the whole time. I had my candy. It was great.