Media Day with Aaron Long
February 25, 2019

MetroFanatic: Aaron, who was the first to say: you're a defender? Let's get that person a raise!
Aaron Long: Ummmmmm... It's between two people. It's either Jesse Marsch or my agent. Actually... I don't want to say "you're a defender", but Sigi Schmid said he really liked to see me as a center back.

MF: Sigi Schmid, who was with Seattle when you were there. Did he try that?
AL: He did try that when I was with Seattle 2 a little bit. I played center back, right back, but it wasn't official until I came to the Red Bulls and Jesse said, "you're a defender".

MF: We're pretty glad it didn't work out in Seattle. You're probably pretty glad too, all things considering?
AL: All things considering, I'm very happy.

MF: The money hasn't come out officially, but it's a life-changing number, right?
AL: For sure, yeah.

MF: In your wildest dreams, three, four years ago, did you think that you'll be here... like that?
AL: No, definitely not. That's something that catches you by surprise and you just gotta roll with it. It's so great to have that opportunity.

MF: It was such a meteoric rise...
AL: It took me a little off guard, I guess. It's one of those things that I've always believed I had. The quality had always been in me, so it's nice to feel I'm reaching my potential.

MF: Captain of the national team, that came from nowhere?
AL: That was a surprise for me, for sure. Just looking back, what a great honor, right? It's something you can never prepare for, in my position, in that moment. Looking back on it, I will forever be so proud of that.

MF: Hopefully that continues, with the Gold Cup, then World Cup qualifying...
AL: Yeah, that would be nice, of course, but having that memory already in the bag is best case scenario.

MF: I talked to Kemar about the MLS Defender of the Year Award. He was not gonna say it, but he might think he was a better candidate for it? If you read between the lines...
AL: Listen, the kid is unbelievable. No doubt that he is my favorite left back, and I wouldn't want anyone else beside me. If he got it, I would have been over the moon for him. The honor would have been deserved.

MF: I think they never give it to outside backs.
AL: Really?

MF: Ever. They probably should do a fullback of the year award.
AL: If that's the case, then they should. His name would be all over it.

MF: Talk a little about working with Tim and your partnership.
AL: That's another guy that I'm super fortunate to play next to. If I had to choose any center back in the league to play next to, it would be him. So how lucky am I that I have Kemar on my left and Tim on my right and Luis behind me in goal. All the pieces are falling into place for me, and I think it sets us up for a really good year.

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