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The former No. 3 draft pick is a relentless defender for Real Salt Lake, and just as tenacious turning pages of a book.

You were a history major at UCLA, but switched to English at Utah. What gives?

At UCLA, I was just focused on soccer and didn't really know what direction I wanted to take. As I got older, I realized the only really other passion I have in my life outside of soccer is I'm a passionate reader. I plan on doing that for the rest of my life, and it seemed like a good direction to head.

Favorite book, then?

I hate answering the question what is my favorite book; I have favorite authors. I went through a big Hemingway phase. I really like Raymond Chandler and his detective novels, and I'm a big Robert Louis Stevenson fan.

Do take classes while you play?

Yeah, but I take it really slow. I took the summer off. ... Last semester, I took two classes online. I'm not really overexerting myself, because sometimes it's tough to balance the schedule.

How close are you to a degree?

Very close. If I wasn't doing soccer, and I sat down and did it, it would take me one or two semesters and that's it.

And what will you use it for, once your soccer career is over?

I wish I knew the answer. ... Part of me wants to challenge myself and prove that I can make a living outside of soccer, but the other part of me wants to stay involved in the sport that I love. With the degree, maybe I'd like to do something with publishing.

Aside from reading and soccer, what do you do in your spare time?

I live with Kyle Reynish, so he and I just hang out. ... We went yesterday and threw the baseball around, just to get out of the house. Since we train so much, in our down time we like to relax. We play a lot of video games, and I'm a big movie buff.

What's your favorite movie?

"Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid."

And what video game are you playing?

Right now I'm playing Skyrim. Me and [Chris] Schuler are pretty into it. You have to be careful. It can consume your life. I'm pretty into that right now.

Do you have a favorite restaurant in town?

For dinner, definitely Takashi. I love sushi. It's healthy. It's delicious. The only downside is it's expensive.

You watch a lot of soccer. So who's your team, internationally?

I like Arsenal because when I was younger, my club team was Arsenal of Rancho Cucamonga.

You're a former Bruin, as we said. So who's your favorite fellow Bruin athlete of all time?

If I could push the boundaries a little bit, my favorite Bruin would be John Wooden. I know he wasn't an athlete there, but he spoke to the entire student-athlete body when I was there, and I was just blown away by his mind and everything that he said.

How would you describe yourself, in one word?