One week after senior Brian Kuritzky led the men’s soccer team to the Nike/Kentucky invitational championship and the team’s best start (3-1) in recent memory with four goals and two assists, Sun Assistant Sports Editor Lance Williams kicked some balls around with the white hot forward. Kuritzky, so hot right now.
1. I covered soccer last fall and it was rather depressing, you guys were 4-8-3 and couldn’t score a goal for your lives. But now the team is 3-1 to start the season, what has been the secret to your success?
There’s no secret, we’ve just been around each other more on and off the field. Whereas last year we weren’t gelling as a group, I know it’s a cliché, but we really are coming together …
[Laughing] Easy buddy.
For instance last game I was dribbling up the field and Matt Bouraee said something behind me. I play pick up with him all the time, we hang out off the field and I play in practice with him everyday, so I just knew where to put the ball — where he wanted it…
Where did he want it?
[Ignoring] And he scored a goal. Last year, when he was a freshman and I was a junior, we hadn’t really gotten to know one another yet and maybe I would have played that ball to the wrong side or too far ahead. So I think we’re just really good friends and that helps a lot.
That’s a hell of an answer, a lot longer than I was going for. Well done.
2. You’re supposedly from Cortland Manor, N.Y., but you don’t look like you’re from anywhere near here. Where were you born?
I was born in Manhattan.
Manhattan? Why are you so tan?
That’s a good question.
You don’t talk like New Yorker. You don’t look like a New Yorker.
What do you mean?
I mean you don’t look like a New Yorker. If I had to guess I would say you’re from Brazil or something.
You know what’s funny is that sophomore year, I would tell girls that I was from there. If I wanted to be Italian for the day, I would be; if I wanted to be Brazilian for the day, I would be.
So you’re basically multiracial without being multiracial?
You know I get stopped every now and again in airports.
Do you get pulled over? The old Driving While Black?
No I pull out my white voice.
3. Why do you think no one in America likes soccer?
I think Americans are not as patient and they don’t appreciate the subtleties of the game. In football, we love when one guy cracks another guy, in basketball, we love when some guy gets a slam dunk. That just doesn’t happen in soccer.
Are you bashing America? Once again I think you are definitely from Brazil?
You may or may not be at this point, from your answer.
Are you asking if I’m from Brazil?
No, but I do think that you go tanning on a regular basis.
[Laughing] That is absolutely false.
You definitely go to the tanning salon at least once a week.
If you want me to show you my ass right now to prove it …
Whoa! I definitely don’t need you to show me your ass right now. [Laughing] That has got to be a 10 Questions first. I’ve done four interviews and already I’ve have one girl telling me all about her sex life and you asking me if I want to see your ass.
Well why is baseball popular?
That’s a very good question. I love baseball.
[Laughing] Because of the intricacies of the game.
At least in soccer there are 22 people involved; in baseball there is the pitcher, the catcher and the hitter. Those are the only three people in the game. You don’t even need any fielders if there is a good pitcher.
I’m pretty sure every team needs fielders.
Not if you have a good pitcher! What about those games where they throw perfect games! The fielders could go to the bar early.
[Laughing] They still have fielders! This is getting embarrassing for you because there has never been a game in the history of Major League Baseball where the pitcher has struck out every batter.
[Laughing] You’re stunned!
Ok. Ok., I don’t follow baseball that much.
[Laughing] Well that’s clear at this point. Can Beckham invigorate the sport.
He can? Why is he such a little girl? He’s getting paid like $200 million or whatever it is. Get on the field!
Well he is on the field until some savage from, like, Ireland breaks his knee.
He’s a pansy.
Well he plays games in L.A. for the galaxy and then flies back to England for the national team and then he flies right back …
I didn’t know that.
I like Beckham, I think he’ll be great for the league. In 10-12 years I think the MLS will be right around hockey. But the MLS is 12 years old, sports like baseball have been around since 1876, so it’s going to take some time.
What a statistic you pulled out there.
4. You scored a hat trick this season in a 4-1 win over IUPUI, did you celebrate after any of those goals. You know any sort of dance, a [Cincinatti Bengals wide receiver] Chad Johnson type thing?
No I’m not a very good dancer. Well actually in the preseason last year I scored two goals and did a stupid dance. After that I went into a slump so I stopped celebrating.
What was your dance?
I went to the corner flag and did a booty shake sort of thing, you know?
[Stares blankly in shock] You did a booty shake?
[Embarrassed] I don’t know why I just said that.
[Hysterical laughter for 10 seconds] Wow. What did you teammates think about that?
[Laughing] No comment. But anyways, after I went into that slump I just took the mentality that I should just jog back to the circle and act like I’ve done it before. Barry Sanders style, you know?
Right, I like that. But even after the third goal you did nothing?
No, I was more stunned than anything.
What’s the best celebration you’ve ever seen?
Well there are a couple. I don’t remember who did this, but one kid scored, took the corner flag out of the ground, started playing guitar with it, swung it like a golf club and then put his hand on his forehead pretending like he was trying to watch it.
[Laughing] That’s good I like that.
5. I heard that you go to bed at an early time, somewhere around the 9 p.m. region. Now my 89-year-old grandmother goes to bed around 8:30, give or take 30 minutes. Is that embarrassing at all for you?
You must have one pretty cool grandma, man.
She’s a great grandma, she gambles with me all the time. Plays the blackjack.
She plays the blackjack?
She plays the blackjack! She loves it.
You know what? Unlike the people that are probably giving you this information, I like to wake up, do my work and go to my classes. So when I go to bed at 10:30, which is usually the cutoff …
No, I mean you have to live a little right?
[Laughing] Yea I guess so.
Sometimes I’ll have a wild night and make it to, like, midnight.
Have you ever made it to the bar closing at 1:00 a.m.?
Well I’m still 20 and have never actually been to a bar here.
[Stunned once again] Ever?
No I’ve never been to a bar to go to a bar, we went to the Nines one time to have pizza after a game or something.
[Laughing] This is too much. I’m sorry I don’t why this is so funny to me. How are you a senior and still 20 anyways?
My birthday is Oct. 3, so I turn 21 soon.
My grandma might actually sound cooler, at this point, than Brian Kuritzky of the soccer team.
[Laughing] I have my priorities.
I respect that.
6. Do you have a prediction for this year?
I would love to but no…
You’re not going to say a prediction?
I’m going to get myself in trouble.
You’re denying it, you’re denying the question?
Can I say no comment?
There are no, “no comments” on 10 Questions about stuff like this! You can try to maybe work around it, but good luck with that.
So if I said we’re going to go 3-14 …
[Laughing] I hope that’s not what you’re predicting.
But worse case scenario, I guess I would I know that I was right, right?
I guess so, but that’s kind of a [censored] answer.
[Laughing] Well in that case, I have a couple bets going that we’ll win 10 games so I’ll go with that.
What about an Ivy title?
Being that it’s my last year, I’m going to say anything short of an Ivy title or an NCAA berth would be a failure. I’ll take either one, but if I had to choose, of course I’ll go with an Ivy title.
7. Last year you guys scored a grand total of 10 goals; this year in four games you’ve scored nine. You personally have scored four points a goal and two assists) your entire Cornell career before this year, and this year you have 10 points in three games (four goals and two assists). Now let’s just be honest with one another, are you guys on the juice?
Yeah, I knew Mr. Conte from Balco and he hooked me up.
[Laughing] Have you been indicted?
I refuse to comment on the record.
Your lawyer won’t let you?
[Laughing] Right. No, once again, I just think that we’ve been around each other longer, we’re older and more experienced, yada, yada, yada …
Yada, yada, yada?
When it comes down to it, I just think everything’s fallen into place.
Now do you think that part of the explanation why you are scoring so much is because, as my sources have informed me, you horde all the protein bars? Do you think there is a direct correlation between the amount of bars you eat and the amount of goals you score?
[Laughing] You know what, I don’t know who is telling you this information but it’s a complete lie.
It’s a complete lie? I just ask my “informant” a general question and he makes this up out of the blue? That’s just not likely.
I take just as many protein bars as the next guy.
That’s what Barry [Bonds] has said for years, and now look where he is. In the court of public opinion, you’re [censored].
[Laughing] If protein bars lead to more goals then I will be eating them for the rest of my life?
So you just admitted it.
8. Anyways, how long have you had a shaved head?
The beginning of my sophomore year in college, just because [Pauses] well I don’t know how appropriate this is. The real reason is that my mom passed away from breast cancer and she had a shaved head while she was doing chemo, so I did it to support her.
Wow, I’m sorry man.
The other reason is that it’s cheap and college kids have no money, so I like it.
Do the ladies have any factor in this whatsoever?
Well I did see a lot of models and what not in magazines with shaved heads. So I thought, I guess the chicks dig this.
Has it worked out for you?
Well I would rather not comment because of a certain somebody.
Ahh, a special somebody?
Yes a special somebody who doesn’t go to school here.
What are you worried about? It’s not like this can go on the internet and be broadcasted to anyone in the world.
Does this get posted on the website?
[Laughing] Maybe, I can’t comment on that. Just say yes and we’ll move on.
I can’t do that.
Alright never mind, now what was your haircut before the shaved head? Did you have a bowl-cut as a kid?
What’s a bowl-cut?
You know, the straight around the head. Have you ever seen Dumb and Dumber? Jim Carrey had it in that movie. They put the bowl on top of your head and just cut around. You had to have that, everyone did.
No. But when I was a kid I did have a big ’fro, because for some reason I had really curly hair. The chicks were all over that.
Curly hair in a ’fro? The girls loved that?
You know what, in fifth grade, I was a hot ticket.
9. I’ve heard from various sources that you are “klepto.” Care to defend yourself?
Yeah, I am a middle child so I always learned how to share. My locker is always open and my door at home is always open. So people can take stuff from me, I can take stuff from them. It’s very open, you know? Some people on my team don’t necessarily go by that philosophy, which has been difficult. [Laughing] But for the most part, whoever told you this is blatantly lying again. I bet it is the same god damn person.
You have no idea who my sources are on this one, I went deep undercover. So it’s a complete lie, you don’t steal stuff in the locker room?
Steal is such a strong word.
Well OK, borrow things in the locker room when certain teammates forget to put stuff in their locker.
Now we’re talking about if you find a dollar on the floor, can you pick it up? Does it become yours?
If it’s in front of my teammates locker I wouldn’t.
Say its not directly in front of your teammates locker, maybe one could perceive it as in the middle of the room.
[Laughing] You sound like you’re trying to justify grand theft here. Have you ever stolen a car?
10. Last question, it’s always the same question. What is the hottest women’s team at Cornell?
[Waits 2 minutes in contemplation] You’re going to get me in trouble again.
You knew it was coming it can’t be that hard.
Can I do a tie?
[Begrudgingly] Sure, why not?
I’m going to go with the women’s soccer team because I have some friends on the team and the track team.
You wait three minutes to say the two most obvious picks.
[Laughing] Ok fine, can I change my answer? I’m going to say volleyball and track because first of all, they win and that’s hot. They’re also really cool, down to earth girls.
Alright that’s it, its been fun my friend.
10 Questions with Lance Williams will appear on Thursdays, unless Lance is taken out by a hitman hired by David and Victoria Beckham. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.