HOMETOWN: Fontana, Calif.
YOUTH CLUB: Pateadores
INTERNATIONAL: U.S. men's national team (7 caps; debuted against Switzerland on October 17, 2007); U-23 men's national team.
STARTING OUT: Everyone in my family played. I started playing at a young age. I fell in love with it.
EARLY SOCCER MEMORY: Growing up, there was a park by my house. We'd all go to the park and train as a family. We had a lot of fun playing and learning.
FIRST CLEATS: Mitres. I didn't know any better. I just wanted to play. They were probably an old pair from my dad.
CURRENT CLEATS: Adidas AdiPURES.
OTHER SPORTS: I played football and basketball with friends. Soccer was the only organized sport I played.
FAVORITE TEAMS: Manchester United, Barcelona, AC Milan. From non-soccer teams, the Chicago Bulls.
FAVORITE PLAYER: Michael Jordan. It's the way that he carries himself on and off the court. He's a role model.
FAVORITE MOVIES: "Superbad," "City of God," "American Gangster."
FAVORITE ACTOR: Denzel Washington.
FAVORITE ACTRESS: Jessica Alba.
FAVORITE TV SHOW: "Entourage," "Nip/Tuck." I get caught up in reality shows, too.
LIVING SITUATION: I have my own place in downtown Toronto. It's a fun city.
2008 ROOKIE OF THE YEAR CANDIDATES: A lot of guys are doing well. New England has a few guys. For us, Jarrod Smith and Julius James are doing well. Sean Franklin's doing well in L.A., too. If I had to pick a top three I'd say Franklin (L.A.), Smith (Toronto FC), and Brandon MacDonald (L.A.).
MLS EXPERIENCE: So far, it's been unreal. Fortunately, things have gone well. Now I want to build on that. It's all a part of a learning process. Now I want to elevate my game. The team is doing better this year so that's good. I want to help us make the playoffs and make the most of my opportunities.
COLLEGE EXPERIENCE: It was good. It really prepared me for MLS. It was a professional environment. The coaching, the facilities, the school itself ... it all helped me get here. My time at Maryland helped me mature my game and mature as a person.
MEMORABLE COACHING ADVICE (from youth coach): I was raised not to take things for granted. You have to take advantage of your opportunities because it could all be gone tomorrow. I try to prove myself every day.
HOBBIES: I go to the movies and play a lot of video games, especially FIFA. There's a lot to do here. I go to fairs and festivals.
MEETING FANS AROUND TORONTO: The fans have really taken to the team. I get recognized sometimes but it's not overwhelming. It's a good balance. I'm still able to do my day-to-day stuff. It's fun chatting it up with the fans.
MUSIC: Hip Hop and R&B. I like Lil Wayne, Jay-Z and Kanye West.
READING: I'm reading one of Michael Jordan's books, "Driven from Within."
VACATION: I haven't been on vacation in awhile. I want to go to Europe: Italy, Portugal, the Bahamas and Jamaica. I want to go everywhere.
FAMOUS PEOPLE YOU'D INVITE TO DINNER: Michael Jordan, Nelson Mandela, Bill Clinton and Pele.