Where are they now?
Toni Stahl talks about his pro soccer career
This week The Daily Campus had a chance to catch up with former UConn soccer great Toni Stahl. Now playing in the MLS for the Philadelphia Union, Stahl was a key member of many of UConn's most powerful teams within recent years.
Daily Campus: What was your favorite memory of playing soccer at UConn?
Stahl: I would say probably the 2007 season overall, when we won the Big East tournament and the regular season. Even though we lost our Elite 8 game, that team played amazing soccer and the group was the best I have ever met. Of course I can't forget about playing on Morrone Stadium in front of all the fans and Goal Patrol. Playing soccer at UConn was something really special, and I was very lucky to be part of that organization and family.
DC: What was your favorite memory overall at UConn?
Stahl: Meeting amazing people from all around the world and making lifelong friends. I have so many good memories at UConn that it is hard for me to name just one.
DC: How has the transition from college soccer to the MLS been?
Stahl: It hasn't been easy, but every day gets easier as you figure out your role in the team. Work rate and consistency are the biggest differences compared to college soccer.
DC: What's been your favorite thing about the MLS thus far?
Stahl: I would probably say when we played our international exhibition game against Manchester United. That was something that every soccer player dreams about.
DC: If you could say anything to the students playing on the UConn soccer team right now what would it be?
Stahl: Enjoy every day, have fun and always give 100 percent no matter what you do. You are part of something very special, don't waste your time.
DC: What do you miss most about college life?
Stahl: I miss my friends, hanging at the Student Union, I miss being a Husky but I know I will always be one.
DC: At what point did you think: "I could play professional soccer."
Stahl: I guess once I got older I started to think more and more that playing professional soccer was what I wanted to do.
DC: Who do you look up to or has had the biggest impact in your life?
Stahl: Definitely my parents and my family, they never stopped believing in me.
DC: What do you most look forward to about playing soccer professionally?
Stahl: Simply getting better as a player and person on and off the field.
DC: Have you been following the UConn soccer team this year?
Stahl: Yes, I follow them very closely. Many of my friends are still on the team, so I hope they win everything they can this year.
DC: What was your favorite place to play at (besides Morrone) and why?
Stahl: Our home stadium – PPL Park – of course. Besides that, Seattle Sounders Stadium was amazing, the loudest stadium I've ever been.
DC: What opponent would you most want on your team?
Stahl: Xabi Alonso, Spanish national team midfielder.
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