Sounders FC

Rapid-response Earls settling in with new Sounders mates

Ireland’s Danny Earls was born in Dublin – a fact that would surprise no one who speaks with him.

In the time it took to answer three quick questions Wednesday, Earls referred to his former teammates as “the boys,” his new teammates as “the lads,” and his new coach as “the manager.”

Those former teammates were the Colorado Rapids. And his new coach and team are Sigi Schmid and Sounders FC, which acquired Earls in a Nov. 22 trade.

Earls, 21, previously played for the Republic of Ireland’s U15, U16, U18 and U19 squads. Then he moved to Aston Villa of the English Premier League, where he spent 2006-07 with the reserve team.

After leaving Villa by mutual consent in April 2008, he turned up next with Rochester of the USL first-division, where he played until signing with the Rapids last season.

In Colorado, Earls appeared in 18 games and started 15.

However, the day after the Rapids won MLS Cup, the defender was shipped to Seattle, where he has made a good early impression on his new, well, let’s say manager.

“(Earls) has come in and played with a lot of energy,” Schmid said. “And always being left-footed helps you because you’ve got more right-footed players than lefties. I think he has done a very good job, and he is somebody we obviously continue to focus on and look at; but he’s definitely competing.”

Here is that quick, introductory interview with Earls:

Q: How have your first days gone?

A: “It’s been great. So far, it’s been a real easy transition. The guys have been great. I’ve had a few days with some of the draft guys and a few of the newer guys as well. I’ve got my feet under me and now get playing again. … The lads here have helped me settle in, and I’ve been looking forward to the season since we got done last year.”

Q: Do you see how you can help this team?

A: “I feel like I can bring a lot to the team. If the manager sees that, it’s great. I’ve got to show them what I can do. It’s up to me now to really get in here and get my head down and work hard. I can bring a lot: I can get forward, I can defend. It’s up to me to prove that.”

Q: Do MLS players view Seattle as an attractive destination?

A: “Last year, I was recalling with the boys how amazing it would be to play here. The fans are the best in the league. I’ve never seen anything like it; I’ve never played in front of anything like it. That’s going to be real exciting. If that doesn’t get your goose bumps going, nothing will. Everyone around the league says this is the best-run club here, and I’ve only heard great things since I’ve been here. That’s only going to help me improve as a player, so I’m just looking forward to really getting settled down here and showing people what I can do.”

Don Ruiz, 253-597-8808 don.ruiz@thenewstribune.com twitter/donruiztnt blog.thenewstribune.com/soccer

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