It's Jack here!
At the end of May, my Dad and I had the privilege to interview FC Edmonton's left back Duran Lee.
I love Duran. Not only is he a great player, but I think he is an incredible person.
When I first met him, even though he is a natural left back, he was playing center back for the Halifax Wanderers.
In fact, the picture in the header image of CPLFever.ca is Duran and I. It was taken the very first time I met him after he played his first game in Halifax. Not too long before that, he had just made the jump to the CPL from Vaughn, after being spotted by Wanderers coach Stephen Hart, and after ball retrieving one game, I was able to spend a little bit of time chatting with him.
You'll see as you watch this interview, that not only does Duran have an incredible story (you'll want to listen closely to his time at Chelsea, the TFC Academy and in Portugal) but that he is also an incredibly nice, down to earth and all-around good guy! Always smiling, he's incredibly genuine, thoughtful, and giving of his time.
He talks about his work with the coach at Vaughn Azzurri in Ontario, and his move to the CPL mid-season with Stephen Hart and the HFX Wanderers. He also talks about his relationship with Edmonton FC coach Jeff Paulus.
When I learned that he had signed with FC Edmonton I was very happy for him. I was excited to sit down and talk to him about FC Edmonton and what he was looking forward to once the CPL season starts!
In this interview…we talk a lot! We cover his journey, his ups and downs, his mindset, and his thoughts on soccer in general.
It was a great time and I'm very thankful that we had the time to learn more about his remarkable journey to the Canadian Premiere League.
Below is the timestamp and the full interview below! The timestamp is clickable if you watch the interview on YouTube.
0:00:58 Welcome Duran
0:00:18 How was your training session?
0:00:37 Did you hear the good news about La Liga starting?
0:00:16 How did you fall in love with soccer?
0:02:01 Tell me more about catching the games after coming home from school?
0:02:38 Did you watch soccer with your parents?
0:03:16 Do you think that watching soccer at such an early age allowed you to understand things positionally quicker than other people?
0:04:22 What’s your favourite formation?
0:06:53 Halifax this year – Lots of international players?
0:07:40 How many international spots are in a team?
0:08:25 Tell us more about your natural position?
0:08:57 How was that playing centre back when you are a left back?
0:11:23 What do you mean side pressure is no pressure?
0:12:57 What is the best advice you’ve ever received from a coach?
0:14:36 At which point in your development did you start practicing more or weak foot
0:19:03 Do you know you might win “the nicest guy in the CPL” award?
0:19:37 Soccer is an aggressive sport. How do you go from very jovial in your normal life to having a more aggressive attitude on the pitch?
0:22:06 Who do you try to emulate in your game
0:23:30 How did you get to be so technical?
0:24:00 Were you naturally talented? Were you the best player on your team growing up?
0:25:09 How did you get to Chelsea? How old were you?
0:28:34 How did you get over to Portugal?
0:30:37 How’s the food in Portugal?
0:31:10 In Portugal what do they do differently over there? Do they focus on futsal?
0:32:48 What is the lasting impact from Portugal?
0:33:32 So when you were in Portugal, was the focus different i.e so do they focus on being able to do things with both feet, being able to focus on thinking ahead?
0:35:15 When you were with Vaughn, were you aware of the CPL?
0:36:37 How did you get on Stephen Hart's radar?
0:37:21 Was it difficult to go into a pro team in the middle of the season, when it was established?
0:39:04 How excited are you to be going to FC Edmonton? What excites you the most?
0:40:10 It must have been nice to have several team interested in you?
0:41:30 How long were you in Edmonton before returning to Ontario?
0:41:55 What is the best thing about training with FC Edmonton?
0:42:33 Do you find the other players on your team share your passion for watching the technical aspects of the game?
0:43:35 If you’re watching the Champions League Cup Final who do you want to watch it with?
0:44:07 What was the biggest difference transitioning from League One to the CPL?
0:44:50 Were you always a left back or did you play more forward before?
0:46:27 What were some of the things that Thomas Rongen saw in you that made him think you would be a good left back?
0:47:22 What tips do you have for left backs?
0:48:55 What do you eat that makes you so fast?
0:49:40 Is there a special diet you follow in the season to stay fit?
0:50:52 Let's talk more about cheesecake, you love strawberries in it?
0:51:09 Do you use a special ingredient in your cheesecake, do you bake it yourself?
0:51:51 Is it better to eat plain strawberries or strawberries with something?
0:52:07 What other food do you love other than strawberries?
0:52:45 Have you watched the Last Dance? Is MJ the best basketball player in the world?
0:53:10 What makes Lebron so good?
0:54:03 Anyone else you liked in the Last Dance?
0:56:28 Rumour has it you’re named after a famous 80’s band and do you like them?
0:58:17 What club do you feel took your game to the next level? Is it the TFC Academy?
1:00:42 So would you say that there are different types of coaches, those who want to win and those who want to develop the player?
1:02:34 Is coaching in your long term future?
JACK’S RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS
1:03:45 Personal favourite drill to do in quarantine?
1:03:02 When do you think the CPL will be back?
1:05:42 Do they have turf in Edmonton?
1:06:28 Do you play FIFA?
1:06:35 Xbox or PS4?
1:04:41 Favourite FIFA team to use?
1:06:46 FIFA cheat teams to use?
1:08:15 Who do you like in La Liga?
1:09:00 Who do you like in Bundesliga
1:09:41 Wrap Up – Thanks for talking with us!