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Jul, 2019

Presidents Cup One-On-One with Ben Perez Steadman

Following their recent championship win in the USYS Eastern Presidents Cup, U18 DC Stoddert Blue Metros is headed to Murfreesboro, Tenn. as one of the final four teams in the USYS National Presidents Cup. The U18 DC Stoddert Blue Metros team is the first DC Stoddert team to advance to the National President Cup. Leading up to the National Presidents Cup in mid-July, we will be releasing an interview series highlighting players and coaches from the Blue Metros team. Today we would like to introduce goalkeeper Ben Perez Steadman who has been with DC Stoddert for 12 years.


What was the excitement level like for the team heading into the Eastern Presidents Cup seeing as it was a tournament that you hadn’t ever played in?


We hadn’t really been on a trip like this as a team before so we were pretty excited. We had pretty high expectations. 


How did the team feel about their chances heading into the Eastern Presidents Cup?


We knew that we were probably one of the better teams there so if we didn’t win we weren’t going to be satisfied.


What was the attitude/mentality/game plan going into the Eastern Presidents Cup final against a team that had beaten you in the group stages?


We knew that we could easily beat those guys because they weren’t super good. We definitely knew that we were better. We felt like it was also a little bit of revenge because they had been talking a lot of trash in the previous game. We knew that we had to beat them because we had been talking some trash back to. So yeah, it was nice to beat them because it’s always nice to get a bit of revenge on those type of teams.


Can you talk about what Coach Matt Thompson has meant for the team in terms of development and team chemistry seeing as this group hadn’t really played together until the Eastern Presidents Cup?


Coach Matt generally has similar styles of play for the different teams that he coaches so that helped us play well together. Also by just being with Stoddert, most of us already knew each other and have decent pre-existing relationships. But Coach Matt is very good at building the team. We did a bunch of activities after the games that helped to build team cohesion.


Have you noticed an uptick in energy or buzz at practice now that the team is playing for a national trophy?


We had our first practice for the tournament yesterday and at first, we were kind of getting back into things… we were all kind of tired. But then coach reminded us how everyone is going to be working hard to get ready for this tournament so if we want to have a shot at winning that trophy we have to make sure to work hard in practice and play with a lot of energy.


Has it hit you that you’re a part of the first DC Stoddert team to go to the Eastern Presidents Cup and now you’ll be a part of the first DC Stoddert team to go to the National President Cup?


It definitely feels good to be able to represent Stoddert and Maryland at these tournaments. We’re pretty excited to play in the National Cup and I know that it would be a pretty big deal if we are able to win it all.


Are there any lessons that you learned at the Eastern Presidents Cup that you’re going to take to the National Presidents Cup?


For sure, for pretty much all of the games, we started really well in the first half. Then in the second half, we would let an early goal in. We would still be winning, but the other team would be playing well and attacking. We definitely want to change that and play hard throughout the entire game.


Have you ever been to Nashville or Murfreesboro before?


No. I hadn’t been to the place in West Virginia either. It’s been pretty nice to be able to experience other cultures and what life is like in places other than DC. So yeah, I’m definitely excited to see Nashville and Murfreesboro. I’ll probably visit colleges like Vanderbilt while we’re there. I know most of our games are pretty early in the morning so hopefully, we’ll have the afternoons to go explore the city.


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