By Carolyn Linck, '11
Kevin Klasila (KK) is returning for his fifth season of Santa Clara soccer in the fall. The two-time All-WCC honoree is excited for his final season and believes this is the year the Broncos can make a run for the national championship. Recently, www.SantaClaraBroncos.com caught up with Klasila about his goals for the coming year, the highlights of his soccer career at SCU and his favorite thing about playing for the Broncos.
SCB: You started all 21 games in the goal for the Broncos last season. How do you prepare for the season both mentally and physically?
KK: I'm coming back for my fifth season at SCU about as excited as I was coming in my freshman year. I'm only required to take one class in order to graduate in December, so I'm really looking forward to putting all my focus entirely on soccer. Going into the summer I've been fortunate to get the opportunity to train with two MLS teams. Training with the Seattle Sounders and Chivas USA goalkeepers will be an ideal preparation for my last college season.
SCB: Did you ever play in the field, or have you always been a goalie?
KK: I used to play center midfield sometimes way back in the AYSO days. I always played goalkeeper though. I used to love diving around, getting dirty and being crazy in the goal, and I definitely still do.
SCB: What are you looking forward to most in your senior season? What do you hope to have accomplished by the end of your Bronco career?
KK: Like I said before, I look forward to putting all my focus on soccer in my final season. I'll have more time to improve my own game outside of practice, which is something that's normally been difficult for me in the past with 4 classes, a music ensemble, a guitar lesson and a side job. By the end of my Bronco career, I want to have made it to the Final Four and a run at the National Championship. This year's going to be the year!
SCB: You received All-WCC Honorable mention in 2010 and 2007. What do these honors mean to you, and how are hoping to duplicate this success in the 2011 season?
KK: When the team is successful, individuals make each other better, highlighting everyone's best qualities on the field. I would have never been honored in 2007 and 2010 if it weren't for the success of my team. The fact that we won the conference both of those years is a true testament to that. If we produce results this upcoming season, which we expect of ourselves, there should be opportunities for many individuals on this team to step up and do some pretty big things.
SCB: What are your goals for the upcoming season on a team and individual level?
KK: My personal goal is to have a national championship ring on my finger at the end of the season. My goal for the team is to have national championship rings on my teammates' fingers.
SCB: The team that won the 2010 WCC Title is returning nine All-Conference honorees including yourself, Erik Hurtado, Mykell Bates, Brandon Zimmerman, Eric Masch, Keigo Kameya, Mark Daus, Murphy Campbell and Wesley Culver. How do you think the team will be able to live up to the high expectations that this recognition generates?
KK: It's a team-wide understanding that we are planning on exceeding these expectations. By the end of the spring everything started to click. We are playing the best soccer we've ever played in my time here. I'm really excited to see how well we can put it all together, especially given the difficulty of our schedule next fall.
SCB: What aspects of your game are you working to improve right now? How are you working on them?
KK: Physically, I'm working on my quickness, jumping and kicking. Mentally, I'm always looking for ways to improve my communication on and off the field to ensure that I'm always on the same page as my teammates and coaches.
SCB: What has been the highlight of your Santa Clara soccer career thus far?
KK: I have two highlights. My first would be my freshman year when we beat UCLA 3-1 in the second round of playoffs. Buck Shaw Stadium was packed that night, and the whole experience was really amazing. Second, dramatically winning the WCC title last season in the final game of the season over Gonzaga was also a really special moment.
SCB: What is your favorite thing about playing soccer at Santa Clara University?
KK: Friday night games on Buck Shaw, the feeling you get when you know running/conditioning is done, WCC championships and doing it with my best friends.