A Few Minutes With Jeremy Hall
Jeremy Hall was Maryland's leading scorer last fall and helped the Terps win their second NCAA championship in four years. He then decided to leave school a year early to sign with MLS and was selected with the 11th overall draft pick by the Red Bulls, who are converting him from a left-side midfielder into an outside back.
Have you played in the back before?
"When I was with the under-17 national team, I went to Bradenton as a forward but John Ellinger tried me at right back a little bit. I played there for a few months and got comfortable with it. At Maryland, I played left and right midfield and up top occasionally, and there were a few times where I stepped into the back, but never played there regularly."
When did you find out that the Red Bulls want to make you a right back?
"I went into the draft as a left mid. We went into preseason camp and the coaches tried me at center mid, and I hadn't played there before. We went down to Florida and they played me at right back, and I guess they liked what I did so I have been there ever since."
What is the adjustment like?
"You have to defend first, but I can still get into the attack when the ball comes over there. When you have the ball, you have to choose the moments when to attack."
Do you like playing back there?
"It's not bad. I am comfortable with it and getting used to it. The older guys are helping me a lot, so I am starting to gain more confidence each and every day."
What has been the biggest adjustment from college to pros?
"The speed of play is a big one. When we first started, trying to take that second and third touch when you should be taking one or maybe two touches, that really got me and I got tackled a few times. I have adjusted to it. It's definitely a lot faster than college. Guys are a lot stronger and faster."
Have you been able to communicate with your former Maryland teammates now in MLS?
"I talk to them occasionally. They say they are doing well. We all agree that speed of play is the biggest adjustment in MLS, but now that we are getting used to it, you just want to get out there and try to earn some playing time."
What was the highlight of the Red Bulls' recent Argentina trip?
"We got some good games. Playing against River Plate, Marcelo Gallardo was out there and a lot of first-team guys. We played Boca in their main stadium. And the food was great!"
Did you ever go to RFK to watch Gallardo last year?
"I did once."
What was it like being on the field with him this preseason?
"It was awesome. He is just so good technically on the ball. Being back in Argentina, I think that fits his style more than MLS. They don't press as much as they do here in MLS. His passes are on point, the way he uses his body, it was just a great experience."
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