One of the more disappointing circumstances of Shalrie Joseph's trade was that we as fans never really got a chance to give him the send-off he deserved. He never got the press conference or the testimonial match, the victory lap, or anything of the kind; one day he was a New England Revolution player, the next he was gone.
Bothered by that, I decided to call the Chivas USA media relations team and set up an "exit interview" with Shalrie. This is just a way for us to get some basic answers and get an idea of the mindset we can expect when Joseph rolls back into Foxboro on August 29th. As usual, Shalrie was gracious enough to give me his time after training and was more than happy to answer all of my questions.
Steve: How are you settling in down in LA?
SJ21: I'm settling in good. The transition's been easy, the guys have made it easy, the coaching staff has made the transition very easy, and the playing staff. Just telling me what they expect from me, and what they need from me. The transition's been great.
Steve: 2012 was a year of upheaval for the Revs, with all of the changes in the front office, the coaching staff, and the roster. What did you think of it all? Was it positive?
SJ21: Yeah, [the changes were] positive. There's definitely a lot of positive changes, changes in the locker room, in the coaching staff, getting a younger group in there. Definitely an improvement over the last couple of years, and building for the future. Unfortunately I wasn't part of that change, that future, where they were trying to go. Being here with Chivas is a huge, huge difference to what I'm accustomed to, though, and I'm looking forward to this chapter in my career.
Steve: You mentioned a "rocky relationship" with Jay prior to the trade. Can you go a little deeper into that? Was it difficulty transitioning from a teammate relationship to a coach/player relationship, or was it a change of direction?
SJ21: There was a change of direction. He didn't see me in his future plans. I didn't like certain things that were going on, I don't want to be specific. I still want to see the club do well, and I still want both of us to succeed in our careers. The best thing for me was to move on, find a different coaching staff, different team, and move on with my career. For me, it's all about winning now, not in the future. I need a ring in my career, if I'm going to get that it has to be now. Coming down here gives me that opportunity, being in such a great environment, it's an opportunity to be in the hunt for the playoffs. I thought this was the best place for me to be. In the last few days I've felt 100% secure in the decision, whether it be the players making me feel welcome or the coaches telling me exactly what they need from me, expecting me to make a huge impact right away.
Steve: Did your expected role in New England change this season?
SJ21: I think the last couple of years I played the big role, tried to do everything I could to help the team succeed and get a win. This year with so many new players, my role changed into more of a leadership role, trying to get everybody on the same page, trying to push guys in the same direction on the field and off the field. Doing the little things, making sure everyone was doing the same thing was something I embraced and looked forward to. Unfortunately I guess I wasn't doing enough. I wanted to make sure we were winning games. Once the decision came to move me, I guess they didn't like me as much as they used to, didn't see me as valuable as they used to. The trade was in the best interests of everybody, though, we both look like we benefit. They look like they're happy with what they got in the trade, and for me the first four or five days here have been unbelievable.
Steve: You return to Gillette on August 29th. What's that going to be like for you? Will it be an emotional experience?
SJ21: I'm looking forward to coming back to Boston on the 29th. I'd been there for 10 years, it was a huge part of my career, still part of my career. I've done so much for that community, known so many people and had great times, had a great career. When I'm there, though, I'll be trying to get the W, whether it's the Revs, the Galaxy, Colorado, whomever, we're trying to get the win. I'm just going to be making sure we come out and battle, work hard, give 110% to win, be victorious, and leave it all on the field. I can't worry about the Revs, I've got to concentrate on us. I got the Clasico coming up, I'm really looking forward to it, it's my first game and I'm really excited about it, against a huge opponent. It'll be a great game to get a win off of.
Steve: Do you have a parting message for the fans?
SJ21: I just want to say thank you to all the unbelievable fans. They supported me, supported us through thick and thin, and I thank them for what they've done for my career, for being there when we needed them, when I needed them, the players, the fans, everybody. Thank you.