Teal Bunbury Talks To IMS Concerning Friday’s 2009 NCAA College Cup Semifinal
Teal Bunbury and his teammates from the Akron Zips (23-0-0) are about to partake in the biggest game of their lives. His team will take on the University of North Carolina Tar Heels (16-2-3) who will have a home field advantage playing in Wake Med Park in North Carolina on Friday evening, December 11. The game will be aired on ESPNU at 6:30. (See lower post for a watch party IMS is having at the Sweetwater Bar and Grille.)
The Zips will be shooting for a NCAA record-breaking 24 consecutive wins in a season and a chance to get to the College Cup finals and possibly be the first team ever to complete a perfect season in Division 1.
Teal took a few minutes from his busy schedule today to talk to IMS about the team’s mood, his coach Caleb Porter and what they expect to see from the Tar Heels.
IMS: Teal, you flew into North Carolina yesterday and you’re just a little over 24 hours from Friday night’s NCAA semifinal game against North Carolina. This is most likely the biggest game that you or your teammates have played in. How’s everyone feeling, butterflies, confident, all those things?
Bunbury: Right now everybody is feeling great, I wouldn’t really say that there’s butterflies it’s more so just being anxious and wanting to play. We are very confident and are just real excited to play.
IMS: Is everyone on the team healthy?
Bunbury: Mostly everyone on the team is healthy. We have great athletic trainers who take very good care of us.
IMS: There could be plenty of distractions for the Zips coming into this game: Added media attention, you and your teammate Anthony Ampaipitakwong are both up for the Hermann award, your coach Caleb Porter is possibly being looked at for the DC United job and the team is looking to break an NCAA record of 24 undefeated games in a row. How does coach Porter keep you guys from all those distractions and keep you focused on the game at hand?
Bunbury: We all know that all those distractions are going to be occurring but we’re not phased by them. Our coach just emphasizes that we’re gonna keep doing the things that we have been doing. We’re focused on the task at hand and are only able to control the things we have control over. Overall I would say we’re not affected by any of the many distractions.
IMS: Speaking of coach Porter, is he an inspirational coach giving big talks before the game and at halftime or is he the type of coach that just does a great job of preparing his team on the training ground before the game?
Bunbury: I would say Coach Porter is both an inspirational speaker and a type of coach that gets us prepared at practice as well. There is something about the way he talks – there’s so much passion and energy in it and it’s very motivating.
IMS: I know you’re busy so I won’t keep you any longer, but I would like to know how you are preparing for the Tar Heels? What sort of game do they play and what will you need to do to counter that?
Bunbury: North Carolina is a great team and it should be a very fun game to play in. I would say that they are a very balanced team. Their biggest strength would be they are very good on the counter attack. We will just have to stay focused and sharp like we have been the whole season and it shouldn’t be a problem. That being said, we’re just doing what we’ve been doing all year and are looking forward to a great football match.
IMS: Thanks Teal for taking the time from your schedule!
IMS conducted an audio interview with Bunbury recently. Please go HERE to listen to or download that interview.