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Rising Star: Seattle's Stephen King
by Bryan Alvarez, October 6th, 2009 7AM



[MLS] After being drafted by the Chicago Fire out of the University of Maryland and playing 20 games in his rookie year, Stephen King moved to the Seattle Sounders in the expansion draft for the 2009 season. Get to know the 23-year-old in this profile by Soccer America's Bryan Alvarez that covers on and off-field experiences.

(Seattle Sounders FC)

POSITION: Midfielder
AGE: 23
HOMETOWN: Medford, N.J.
COLLEGE: Maryland

STARTING OUT: My dad was an All-American in soccer at the University of Pennsylvania. He got me and my brother into it. My dad coached my older brother's team. I went to those practices.
EARLY SOCCER MEMORY: One of my best early memories was of winning my first state championship. I was on the Medford Speed before FC Delco. We won the state championship four or five years in a row. I got to play with my friends and kids from school that I knew.
FIRST CLEATS: I was pretty lucky. My parents knew how much I loved soccer and they were willing to spend the money on good equipment. My first pair of cleats were Puma Kings. After that it was always Adidas or Nike. I owe them a lot. They drove me everywhere. I wouldn't have had the opportunities I've had without their support.
CURRENT CLEATS: Adidas Predators.

OTHER SPORTS: I played basketball and ran track. But, soccer was the one I loved most. Once I got to high school, it was just soccer.
FAVORITE TEAMS: Any Philly team! The Eagles, the Flyers, the Sixers. For soccer, Manchester United.
FAVORITE PLAYER: No one that stands out.
FAVORITE MOVIES: "Wedding Crashers"
FAVORITE TV SHOW: "House" & "Man vs. Wild"

LIVING SITUATION: I have my own apartment in a nice area. It's in a town called Kirkland. I'm making enough to support myself.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: I'm biased towards Maryland guys. Rodney Wallace, A.J. DeLaGarza and Omar Gonzalez have a good chance of winning. Otherwise, Stefan Frei and Chris Pontius are up there. And, Steve Zakuani, here in Seattle, too.
MLS EXPERIENCE: It's going well. I've been part of two really good teams. Both have had success. When I was in Chicago, I got to learn from guys like Cuauhtemoc Blanco, Chris Rolfe and Logan Pause. This year, the Seattle franchise has been great. They have so many tickets sold and the fans truly love the team. It's great to be a part of two teams that do things the right way and get results on the field.

COLLEGE: I had 4 great years in Maryland with Sasho Cirovski. In my sophomore year, we won the 2005 National Championship. That ranks up there as one of the greatest memories in my career. I graduated in three and a half years then entered the SuperDraft. I got to grow as a player and as a person.
MOST INFLUENTIAL COACH: I'd have to say Sasho Cirovski. I was with him for four years. He cared about the well being of his players on and off the field.
MEMORABLE COACHING ADVICE (from youth coach): My first youth soccer coach was Jake Vollman from the Medford Speed. He taught me the fundamentals. I remember how much passion he brought. So, it's not really something he said but it was his example that gets me pumped.

I play guitar. Other sports, too, like tennis and basketball. I also like crossword puzzles.
MUSIC: Rock, alternative and classic rock.
READING: I like the newspaper. I like books like ones by Dean Koontz. Books that are entertaining and easy to read. People always ask me if I read Stephen King books because we have the same name. But, I don't.
VACATION: I like going to the beach. I miss the Jersey shore. Anywhere there is a warm beach is my ideal vacation spot.

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