It's "Bouna Time"! 20 Questions With Rapids Goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul

COMMERCE CITY CO (Exclusive to ColoradoRapids.com) -With the 2007 season now underway it's the goal of ColoradoRapids.com to bring you the fans closer to your Rapids players! Every couple of weeks this season we will post an exclusive inside interview with one of your favorite Rapids superstars so fans can get to know the players off the field.

This week it’s "Bouna Time"! Bouna Coundoul known for his trademark phrase is attracting nationwide attention due to his picking up the starting 'keeper reins from Joe Cannon and starting the Rapids off with an undefeated 2 matches at the beginning of this season.
We were able to sit down with Bouna to hit him up with the Rapids' 20 questions.

Colorado Rapids:What was your 2007 opening day experience like?
Bouna Coundoul: "No words can explain what it was like. It was a great feeling! The fan support was amazing and extremely helpful in our win. I’ll never forget the experience. I can’t say enough about the fans they were great. To make history on that day is something that I will never forget."
CR:What was it like playing on national television for the opening game?
BC: "Last year I was nervous before playing. This year I am much more relaxed. I’m doing what I have to do. I know a lot of people were watching so I just tried to play my best and let things happen."

CR:Who is the player in the MLS you most hate playing against?
BC: "No one specific. I really don’t like a dirty player… the type of player that cries about being fouled and whining to the ref for calls. I think these players are cheap."

CR:What is your favorite city to visit on the road?
BC: "New York!!! My family and friends are there. I love to visit and see them. I went to high school and college in the area so I know quite a few people. I can’t wait to go back and visit next month."

CR:Which team would you most like to play against in a Rapids exhibition match?
BC: "Hmmm that’s an interesting question. I guess I have to say either the England or France national teams. Both of those national teams have top players and are great soccer nations. They also have some of the best leagues in the world. I would want to play against these top players."

CR:How did you spend your off-season this year?
BC: "I spent it with my family. I worked out too. I also made a trip to my home country of Senegal to see some of my relatives and I trained there too."

CR: Who is your favorite MLS team to play against and why?
BC: "Any top team. I want to compete against the best the league has to offer."

CR: Which city do you think will be awarded the next expansion club in MLS and why?
BC: "San Jose they had a good history there and great fans. They used to have a team there with the Earthquakes and they were successful. They won the MLS Cup. I think their fans deserve another team."

CR: Who do you think is the fiercest competitor among the Rapids?
BC: "Hmmm…(Pablo) Mastroeni. He has World Cup experience and he is a very hard worker. I think he gets yellow cards because it looks like he is so intense out there that the refs focus on him!"

CR:The Rapids made it to the Western Conference Final last year. Do you think this year’s team can duplicate or better that feat this season?
BC: "No duplication we are going to win the MLS Cup this year!!!"

CR:Do you see your opponents having problems playing at this elevation? Is it an advantage to play home games at this altitude?
BC: "I think so sometimes even we need to get re-used to it especially if we play away from home for a while. Playing in the Mile High City is a great advantage; the other teams do take time to get used to it you can tell on the field."

CR:What’s the best thing about Dick's Sporting Goods Park?
BC: "The field it is a world-class playing surface period. It's a World Cup quality field."

CR:What is your favorite moment as a member of the Rapids?
BC: "My favorite moments are two games. Last week against DC United on opening day and last year against the Galaxy in L.A." (The Galaxy game last year was Bouna’s first start as a Rapids player he recorded a shutout and the Rapids won 1-0.)

CR: When did you first realize that you wanted to be a professional soccer player?
BC: "When I was 6 years old. My brother told me that I needed to play so that Senegal could win the African Cup. Senegal has one of the best teams on the continent so I wanted them to win. At that moment I knew I wanted to play forever."

CR:Has the transition from Invesco Field to Dick's Sporting Goods Park gone smoothly in your opinion?
BC: "Yes very smooth. It's great to finally have our own home now. Soccer is a sport that speaks its own language. It comes to us like second nature. This is our home we got used to it very quickly."

CR:What was it like traveling overseas this preseason to Spain and Mexico for Spring Training?
BC: "It was good to go. I enjoy the different cultures and food but I don’t like the flying. It takes too long. We need something faster than planes!"

CR:How do you personally prepare for game day?
BC: "I prepare like I do for practice it transfers to game day. I just try to do my best with my teammates every day."

CR:Are you a student of the game and is there something new to learn about it all the time?
BC: "Oh yeah there is no such thing as knowing everything especially as a goalkeeper. You may know something one day but you can always know more. The Rapids' coaches are great. They are very knowledgeable and have much to teach me."

CR: What is the biggest advantage with playing in a soccer-specific stadium?
BC: "Not having field football lines. Not having 10 and 20 yard lines for American football is the biggest advantage. It makes it really hard to keep things straight with those lines especially around the keepers’ area."

CR:The fans have been big supporters of the progress you are showing; do you have anything to say specifically to your fans out there?
BC: "First of all…thank you. I appreciate everything you guys go through with the Rapids every win and every loss. I want to win the MLS Cup this year for you. Thank you for being there for us!"
Thanks to Bouna Coundoul for participating in this week's Rapids Player 20 Questions Interview! Please continue to check back to ColoradoRapids.com in the coming weeks for future interviews!