Sporting KC's French central defender Aurelien Collin is coming off a fantastic 2011 season where he and the rest of the young back line lead Sporting KC to a Eastern Conference Final. This year, that same back line enters the first match of 2012 as one of the premier squads in the whole of MLS, with Collin at the center of it.
The Daily Wiz recently caught up with the Sporting KC center back and cat enthusiast. We asked him 7 questions about his decision to join Sporting KC, his partnership with Matt Besler, his youth football, and much more.
1. Can you explain a little bit about what last season was like when you came into the squad in April. Did you and the rest of the squad hit it off well?
It was great because I was coming into a group that accepted me. Great staff, great facilities, and great teammates left me in amazing condition.
2. Have you become really close with anyone on the squad of the pitch?
My closest friends are Julio Cesar, CJ Sapong and Kei Kamara
3. Last season Matt Besler and you were one of the most effective center back partnerships in the MLS, what was the key to your success?
Matt is an amazing person off the field, and on the field we complement each other very well. We both have a strong mentality to win. With people like Bes, you always have success.
4. Before you left your club in Portugal I read some articles that linked you with some other top clubs in France that could be considered to be of a higher caliber than Sporting KC, what made Sporting KC stick out and become the eventual club you signed for?
I spoke with peter when he came to watch me in Portugal. For my career, I think it was the best way. I needed somewhere where I could work without someone judging me, having a stable situation, great facilities, staff, good salary, everything to make me successful and become the best defender I can be.
5. How has adapting to life in Kansas City been for you and what's your favorite part of the city?
Westport, because the people are very open-minded and interesting. It's a part of KC where everyone is up late and you can find nice bars and nice restaurants. You feel the american environment there, it's where I live.
6. Can you explain a little bit about where you played your youth soccer?
Reims, then Sedan. This is where I learned all of my football. Tactically, technically, everything.
7. How far do you think Sporting KC can go in 2012 and what are your expectations for the team?
We have a young team, but we are older than last year, so we have the same group and we will progress together, get better together, and of course this team is better than last year.
Note: The Daily Wiz also asked Collin about his green card status and how far along he was. We received no reply.