A Few Minutes With Louis Crayton
Before we get started with Louis, a few more items to share.....
*The three-story Marcelo Gallardo banner above Gate A at RFK Stadium has been removed. Eerily,
Ironically, it was in a damaged state and had to be discarded.
*United President Kevin Payne is scheduled to conduct a live online chat at washingtonpost.com on Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. ET. Click here to submit a question in advance, follow the action live and read the transcript.
Crayton rejoined the club last week after attending his mother's funeral in Liberia. Dora Crayton was 74. He lost his father, Louis Sr., almost 18 years ago at age 64. Life expectancy in war-torn Liberia is 41. Louis has four brothers and three sisters. He is the youngest. His eldest sibling, through a complicated family background, is 62.
"The reason I wear number 27 is because my father was born in 1927, he died on April 27 and my parents were married 27 years."
Much more below.....
While in Liberia, he was introduced to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who three years ago defeated former soccer superstar George Weah for the presidency. "I had a chance to say thank you for the good work she is doing back home and to present her with a gift from D.C. United -- a jersey with her name and the number 70, which is her age. It was a very brief meeting because I was busy with my mom's funeral."
How is your right shoulder?
"It's pretty good. Yesterday for the first time since we started the preseason, I went out and really tested it. Thank God, everything is fine right now. It's about 95 percent. I am still working on it. I come here to RFK every morning on my own and do exercises before practice and see how my shoulder is coping. Before we start the season, I think I will be 100 percent okay. It's just an injury that has to be treated with time and patience."
Have you have discussions with United about your contract, which expires at the end of July?
"Right now, what is most important is the preseason and the regular season. I want to leave that option to them to see what will happen. I definitely want to stay and continue to serve this great organization. So it is up to them if they want to continue with me. I expect to hear from them as the season progresses. I represent myself [instead of using an agent]. I know what I want, so I speak for myself."
Coach Tom Soehn, on Crayton: "He has made a lot of progress in a short amount of time. He did a good job of working. He lost a lot of body fat and he has come in a lot fitter and stronger. And he continues to work hard to make sure, when opening day comes, he is 100 percent."
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