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A Few Minutes With Troy Perkins

What's it like being back in Washington?

"It's weird. I actually came out to D.C. United training [Tuesday morning] to say hi to everyone because I never really got a chance to say goodbye last winter. It was funny because Ben Olsen was out here on the practice field, trash-talking with everyone as usual, and he kind of looked over and looked at me and then turned back around. I just kept walking and then he turned around again and recognized me. I said, 'That's right, it's me!' He came running over. It was good to see those guys."

Overall, how have things gone for you with Valerenga?

"it's been a good move. For my career, I feel like I have made huge strides. I am in a good environment with a great club that I feel apart of and grown to love."

How would you describe the level of play in Norway?

"It's quite good. It's a lot faster than MLS and you have all the big guys because all the athletes play football there. It's physical, like in England, but obviously closer to the Championship division than the Premiership. You don't have the technical players. There are some, but not as many as you find in England."

More below.....

How's the language and culture in Norway?

"The language sucks. It's a tough one to learn. Everyone speaks English and they love to speak English with you. You start speaking English to them, they think it's great. Oslo is a fantastic city and we have a lot of friends there now. Socially, it's getting better and better."

Is your wife working there?

"No. She graduated from Auburn with a degree in pharmacy, and she can't get a job in Norway because she doesn't speak Norwegian. She could be a pharmacist or work alongside a doctor. She was going to come back here to Washington to work and learn the language, but then we found out she's pregnant. So she has stayed. The health care takes care of everything. It has worked out in the end. She'll learn the language there and, that way, when we're settled with the baby, she'll be ready to go."

When do you find out you were being called into U.S. camp?

"It was only a week or two ago. It was a fax to our sports director. He showed it to me. To be honest, even after that fax arrived, I didn't think it was going to happen. I thought it was just an early list that they came up with and I would be the fourth goalkeeper on it. But when the plane ticket showed up, I got a big smile. It was finally nice to have that chance again [after being in one other camp, in early 2007]. I'm here to get better, to learn, no matter what position I am in, and leave a good impression with these guys."

By Steve Goff  |  October 8, 2008; 9:00 PM ET
Categories:  U.S. men's national team  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: A Few Minutes With Freddy Adu
Next: Morning Kickaround


So awesome to hear he is doing so well. I really miss that guy in goal but I wish him the best over there and for him to win that damn league and play in the champions league. That would be so cool to say I actually talked to that guy before. Good luck.

Posted by: Matt | October 8, 2008 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Great stuff, Steve. Many thanks for your hard work this week.

Posted by: Bill in Md. | October 8, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse

I can't comprehend living in another country where you don't understand a moajority of the language. It would be hell to me. But kudos to Perky, he's doing quite well for himself. I wish he'd stay here in Washington, though...

Posted by: Kevin | October 8, 2008 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Troy is Fantastic!

Be Champions!

Posted by: The Special One | October 8, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Troy! Easily the DC player I miss the most. It couldn't be more fantastic to hear that he's succeeding and happy in Norway.

Posted by: Max J. | October 8, 2008 9:43 PM | Report abuse

All y'all who are going to the Cuba game: we damn better start a "Let's go Perkins!" chant there, in the waning moments - even if he's on the bench and even if he's not in uniform!

Posted by: tlk | October 8, 2008 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Troy's story is just a great one. Developmental player working part-time at Galyans who becomes the starting keeper at DCU and moves on a not insubstantial transfer to Norway. He's always seemed so well grounded, As a fan, I miss him as a player and I think DCU misses his attitude and professionalism.

Posted by: griffin1108 | October 8, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

"He came running over."

If Benny can run, put him on the field.

Posted by: longfellow | October 8, 2008 10:45 PM | Report abuse

LOL, yeah I remember his part time job there. I hope he's pulling in some nice coin.

Posted by: Thora | October 8, 2008 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Troy Perkins, TP, What a guy!

Posted by: Rex North | October 8, 2008 11:45 PM | Report abuse

The language sucks huh. Maybe you should move back to DC.

Posted by: The Jim | October 8, 2008 11:53 PM | Report abuse

The health care takes care of everything.

Jealous. So jealous.

Posted by: cp | October 9, 2008 12:44 AM | Report abuse

As an American who recently moved to Oslo, those language and job comments hit very close to home. Nice to know it's the same no matter who you are. ;)

Posted by: Tom | October 9, 2008 3:45 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the interview. I miss Troy.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | October 9, 2008 6:04 AM | Report abuse

"Hey Troy, you get frostbite on those ears yet?"

Posted by: comic book guy | October 9, 2008 6:28 AM | Report abuse

"The healthcare takes care of everything."

Lucky for him and his wife. Norway is an energy "oil rich country" with a small, homogenous population. They can afford it.

If tomorrow this country would offer a similar benefit the entire health care system would be overwhelmed with the newly created demand. There are not enough doctors or health care workers of anykind to cover the potential curiosity fueled demand that would errupt everywhere.

Posted by: John | October 9, 2008 6:45 AM | Report abuse

He isn't going to be in the champions league. Valerenga is in the highest division of Norwegian soccer. What he was saying is that it is similar to playing at the champions league level in England. They aren't going to win though there is only four games left and Staebek is dominating them by 21 points. If anyone is interested is a good site or the bbc website works. They both show the league standings.

Posted by: b-diddy | October 9, 2008 7:45 AM | Report abuse

b-diddy: you're misconstruing Matt's statement. Yes, Troy is comparing the top-flight in Norway to the Colaship in England. But Matt was addressing a different thing entirely. He was simply saying that if Valerenga wins their domestic league, that puts them into UEFA Champions League qualifying, and that that would be cool. This year, for instance, SK Brann from Bergen represented Norway in the Champions League 2nd and 3rd Qualifying Rounds, but was bounced out by Olympique Marseille.

Posted by: Bootsy | October 9, 2008 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Grfiffin, I couldn't agree more with you.
Dude start out at the bottom and has worked his way up. He still has the potential for even greater accomplishments.

Great for Troy. My best wishes for him and his growing family.

Posted by: yankiboy | October 9, 2008 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Troy has hands down been one of my favorite DCU players, I was a bit depressed when he left for Norway but knew it was what was best for him. He has a ton of potential and I for one hope he eventually starts on a regular basis for USMNT, and eventually returns to DCU! ;-)

Posted by: beltwayrob | October 9, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Here's the link to Steve's feature on Michael Bradley.

The following line may well have been aimed at some of the folks here.
Inevitably, playing for his father attracted largely unfounded criticism from fans.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | October 9, 2008 8:51 AM | Report abuse

The following line may well have been aimed at some of the folks here.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 |

Right, we are the only folks around the country commenting about the Nats

Posted by: Section 107 | October 9, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Well done, Troy.

Posted by: Joe Doc | October 9, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

"The language sucks."

Ha! He -- and his wife -- seem to have a great attitude despite her not being able to work and the language difficulties. Not everyone can adjust well to such a new life.

Posted by: RK | October 9, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if his wife is having any food aversion living in Oslo. Maybe the pregnancy has brought on cravings for Lutefisk and smalahove?

Posted by: dadryan | October 9, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Boy, I hope that "The language sucks" doesn't get taken out of context back in the Norway. I know what he meant, but a quote like that is very easy to mis-interpret and suddenly he is no longer the welcome foreigner. Glad to hear he is doing so well over there.

Posted by: JL | October 9, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for getting us this update, Goff. It is great to hear how things are going for Perkins these days. I am excited to see him on the US squad. I do kind of wonder if he would have gotten the same invitation had he stayed in MLS. Interesting. Good work making the team, Troy! We miss you in DC.

Posted by: UnitedFanInTX | October 9, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

How's his dog? I remember lockerroom videos of him playing with a big puppy

Posted by: JohnK | October 9, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

TP is still the guy I reference when instructing my son and other GKs on his team. They all met him at a YFC event here or there. All like and respect him.

As for healthcare, remember how they pay for it. Yeah, massive taxes. A friend just came back from Norge and was shocked at the cost of things - $12 beers, $40 pizzas.
No such thing as a free lunch.

Anyway, having been to Norge, Troy is right, it is beautiful and the people are just wonderful. And they actually liked that we were from america, contrary to most propoganda.

Posted by: marksman | October 9, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Funny how all the Troy fan boys/girls come out to play now that he called in to the senior nats. I remember when he was here many were calling for his head

Posted by: Tony T | October 9, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

All this (new club, new kid on the way, comprehensive health care) and he got out of the mortgage market at the right time, too!

Goff - great work on many facets of the beautiful game this week. A greatful Insider Nation thanks you.

Posted by: BaltoFan | October 9, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

What do you expect, we show tough love to make sure we dont get players like dystinko who think its ok to suck all the time. One day players will feel the heat and understand that playing at united is not just a job but an honor. ONE DAY!

Posted by: dc fan | October 9, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

@ Tony T

I was thinking the same thing. Everyone seems to have forgotten the ball through the hands into the net that cost us big, south of the border. Glad to hear he's doing well!! Funny how much more attractive your "ex" is when they are with someone else.

Posted by: boda united | October 9, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

"He came running over."

If Benny can run, put him on the field.

Posted by: longfellow | October 8, 2008 10:45 PM

I thought the same thing -- Benny running????

Posted by: HarkesyRules | October 9, 2008 6:05 PM | Report abuse

@ marksman and other free market apologizers:

Not to derail this, but amusing that you'd trade cheap beer for health care. I suspect you say that because you HAVE health care.

Posted by: viv | October 9, 2008 6:10 PM | Report abuse


DC needs you back!

Posted by: Konoha7 | October 9, 2008 6:18 PM | Report abuse

"Boy, I hope that "The language sucks" doesn't get taken out of context back in the Norway"

Not at all, we're not touchy about our language and we fully understand that it's easier for us to learn English reasonably well with the help of TV, movies, computer games as well as being taught English in school, which is mandatory btw, than for someone in his 20's to learn our language from scratch

We appreciate the effort he's making though and those who have met him says he's a really cool guy, despite some mistakes in the early games he's settled in well and overall he's been one of our best players in a somewhat troubled season

Posted by: Norwegian | October 12, 2008 6:36 PM | Report abuse

We already know our language sucks, so no harm done :-)

We've had a terible season and if we didn't have Perk minding the net we'd be in big trouble. The best goalie in the league, at least the most consistant and reliable one.

We're in the cup final in November! Perk's first trophy, but definately not the last!

Posted by: Valerenga | October 13, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

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