Columbus Crew SC announced that the club has signed free agent Ricardo Clark, who last played with the Houston Dynamo. Clark, 34, is a two-time MLS Cup winner and two-time MLS All-Star who brings World Cup experience with the U.S. Men’s National Team.
ColumbusCrewSC.com's Carlos Mojica recently had the chance to speak with Clark:
Carlos Mojica, ColumbusCrewSC.com: Ricardo, you’re an original Houston Dynamo player who spent 10 years with the club and now you’ve just joined Crew SC. How much are you looking forward to this next chapter of your career?
Ricardo Clark: Yeah, I’m super excited about everything. I just touched down today and I’m ready to go. I’m just ready to get back to playing and looking forward to this new chapter in my career and having success with the team.
CM: Obviously you’ve played Columbus many times over the years. What have you noticed about the team over the last four years since Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter took over?
RC: We’ve played against Columbus a couple times and they’re always a tough match-up. We always have to do a lot of video, a lot of homework on them and ever since Gregg took over you can tell there’s a lot more structure to the team, there’s a lot more tactical aspect to their game and – like I said – they’re always a tough opponent. Just very organized and they play really well.
CM: Is there any significance to you at all that you made your MLS debut against Columbus Crew SC?
RC: You’re right, I did. Yeah, it’s funny how things work. I do remember playing against Kyle Martino back in the day. It’s funny how things work. Like I said, I’m excited to be here. The club has always had a good tradition and had success, so I’m glad to be a part of that now.
CM: You bring a ton of experience—13 years in MLS, time in Germany and Norway, 33 caps on the U.S. Men’s National Team. In conversations with Gregg, what do you guys envision as your role on this team?
RC: That’s what preseason is about. I’m going to come in, learn, get familiar with the team – with my teammates as well as the coaches – and just kind of figure out my role from there. Obviously, I’ve played midfield the majority of my life, the majority of my career, and that’s where I assume my role is going to be. In what capacity? That’s what I’m sure I’ll learn throughout preseason.
CM: You’ve won two MLS Cups, a CONCACAF Gold Cup, have FIFA World Cup experience — how can you establish yourself as a leader in this locker room and shed some light on what it takes to win a championship?
RC: I mean, for me, I like to lead by example and that’s in regards to my approach to the game, how I train, how I take care of my body and how I approach each day in not taking this game for granted. That’s basically how I lead: I like to help keep the group together, do everything I can to help the team be successful and work my hardest.
CM: What’d you think of your former club Eintracht Frankfurt coming to the U.S. last year for its preseason to play Crew SC in a friendly?
RC: I mean the sport is growing, the game is growing, especially here in the U.S. You see more European teams coming to play and compete and that’s just great for the game in America and it’s great for the game globally. They’re a fantastic team, very professional environment and it’s good to see MLS teams competing at that level.
CM: What are you looking forward to most about the 2018 season?
RC: Just winning, you know? I’m hungry. Based on last year, it seems that the group is as well. We just want to be successful and that’s the most important thing. It’s not going to be an easy challenge, but I’m ready for it and I think the guys are as well. I’m just looking forward to gelling with the team and help out in whatever capacity it maybe. Like I said, I just want to win.