Hey Guys! I saw the link on MLSsoccer about Frings recently being interviewed, it was in German, I thought it was a good interview, so I'll translate it to English and post it here for everyone to read! Don't know if this belongs in N&A or in the Toronto forum, but it definitely has some general stuff for fans of the league: Here's the link to the original article (in German): http://www.derwesten.de/sport/torsten-frings-freut-sich-nicht-erkannt-zu-werden-id7442449.html Translated to English (As good as I could): Mr. Frings, you were German champion with Bayern Munich and Canadian champion with Toronto FC. Are the celebrations in Toronto similar to those in Munich (holding the Trophy with the team on the City Hall Balcony at Marienplaz)? (Laughs) Nah. It was a small competition, so afterwards we went and got a beer. And that was it. You can't really compare it to the Bundesliga. People here aren't really interested in soccer as they are for ice hockey or basketball. The title was important however. How come? Because then you qualify for the North American Champions League. You leave Canada to play clubs from Costa Rico or Mexico, and that's a lot of fun. But you really can't compare it to Europe, because in the Canadian Cup we're only competing with four other clubs so our chances are really good. We've been Canadian Cup champions for 4 years in a row now. While it didn't work out great for us in MLS, it worked out for us in the Champions League. How is the level of play in MLS? It's been compared to the lower divisions here in the past. Toronto would be mid level in the 2nd Division, or maybe a little lower on the table. The Galaxy, Beckham's club, MLS Champions of the last two seasons, would be at the level of a 'Greuther Furth', but they wouldn't be in the relegation zone. There is definitely a gap, but the league structure becomes more and more professional. You've played in the World Cup and the Euro Cup, and you were world class in your position, was switching leagues a big adjustment for you? Sure, I'm used to a different kind of play, the quality in Europe is higher, but you learn to deal with it and try to help my fellow players with corner kicks and throw-ins, and so forth. With these teams there are a lot of young players that come straight out of College. We have a completely different training system here in Germany. They are however physically in excellent shape and very fit, (North) Americans value that greatly. You are 36 years old. Can you still keep up? (Laughs) I played in Europe, there the quality is clearly and simply higher, but naturally you have to keep yourself fit. There's not a high level of value placed here on a technical style of football. They can all run, but the oversight is lacking, however that'll get better. You were quickly made captain at Toronto. I was asked, and here I'm sort of a marquee player. I really enjoy it. We're a close-knit group here, everyone really gets along, it's different than in the Bundesliga. Here you can befriend someone very easily because there is no envy, with the salary cap, players here all make around the same salary. There are players here who earn 40,000 dollars a year, no one would play in Germany for that amount, but for young players here the league can act as a nice springboard. Let's talk about what's going on around you, what's the stadium atmosphere like? Not as bad as you'd think, actually pretty good. Here in Toronto, we have 20,000 fans regularly, the stadium is usually almost full, and they make for a great atmosphere. New York has a really nice stadium and Seattle brings in crowds of 50,000. The Travel... ...is something I totally underestimated. It's quite exhausting, you fly 6 hours to a game in Los Angeles or Vancouver, plus there's a 3 hour time difference. Also, we don't fly charter planes, we use the airlines. The entire team sits scattered around the plane where they can find free seats. The good thing though is that you see a lot of North America, it's really beautiful. The Media... ...All the games get broadcast live on television, but usually there's only 3 or 4 journalists there plus the guys from our club channel (Toronto FC TV). In Munich or Dortmund it was completely different. Sports journalists here, however, are allowed to go straight to the locker room after the game and interview you while you're in the shower, but you get used to it. And here in the city no one recognizes me, thankfully. That's different than in Munich or Dortmund. That's the best part! I've always wanted to live in a big city, and here I can walk around free without being photographed or watched. Toronto is really nice city. I don't know anyone who doesn't like it, I highly recommend for people to come here and visit. The city changes every month, its constantly growing with new skyscrapers. It's nuts. During the summer here, the beaches and the lakes here are just like in the Mediterranean. During the winter however it's incredibly cold, so I'm happy to be here in Germany during that time. Toronto is a big sports town, and you're a big sports fan. Yeah, that's also great. All the teams here have the same owner, so that becomes really pracitical when you need tickets. I can go watch the Maple Leafs (Ice Hockey), the Raptors (Basketball), or the Blue Jays (Baseball). You can usually spot me at the games when I've got the time. Half the players live in my apartment complex, so we go out to dinner too. How do you do it with the family? My girlfriend is with me here in Toronto, and my children visit me during their vacation, they like it here. I also go to Germany 2 or 3 times a year. So, in conclusion, you did the right thing? Yeah, I'm really glad I made this decision, and I feel very comftable here. What's next? How much longer are you going to play? I just had an injury, but everything's OK now. I head over to start preseason in January. One more year should do it for me, I don't want to play longer than that. ------- There you have it, cool stuff. Good to hear opinions and observations from a player who's played at the highest level. I wish we could hear it more often from more players. It's still crazy that the teams fly commercial, I think flying with chartered planes would be a nice step when it comes to MLS infrastructure. Hopefully they'll be able to afford that at some point.