Thursday, June 11, 2009

6/11/09: Hometown Heroes

Eric Brunner hails from Dublin, Ohio(18 minutes from downtown) while Danny O'Rourke grew up in Worthington just outside of Columbus, Ohio as well. Both hold down the backline for their hometown side.

Written by Junior21(Kristina Balevska)

Many pro sports have various hometown heros who are looked up to. In the 14 year history of the Columbus Crew, just four Central-Ohio natives have suited up for the Black and Gold. Two of those four are on the team today. These two players are Columbus Crew defenders Eric Brunner and Danny O’Rourke. Both of these defenders went to Columbus area schools, played for Big 10 colleges, and went to NCAA College Cup (although only O'Rourke has won it). Danny O'Rourke also played for New York Red Bulls prior to coming to Columbus. I recently had the chance to talk to both of them about some of the experience they have had and here is what they had to say.

Do you have any kind of nickname?
Brunner: Bruns

O’Rourke: No, I don’t have a nickname

What motivates you on/off the field?
Brunner: The love of the game and the pay checks

O’Rourke: The competition of it. I love to compete and I hate to lose.

What player(s) challenge you the most?
Brunner: (Steven) Lenhart because he is strong and physical. Also (Guillermo Barros) Schelotto since he is physical.

O’Rourke: (Steven) Lenhart because he is strong and physical and battles for the ball. He just wears you out.

Do talk smack to players on the field?
Brunner: No, it’s just not my style.

: Only if needed. Many of the players are my friends and one day we could possibly be teammates. I try to stay away from it. (Chad) Marshall does a lot though.

What is the best and least favorite away cities to play”
Brunner: Toronto and Seattle were cool to visit. I haven’t really been to many (MLS) cities but Rochester (USL) was the worst because it was such a small town.

O’Rourke: I love to play in Columbus. I love the stadium, field and atmosphere. I really don’t like playing in New York because of the turf. I just don’t like turf fields at all.

Who is the team prankster?
Brunner: I would have to say myself, Eddie and Danny.

O’Rourke: I would say everyone except Brunner because everyone picks on him.

Who is the “Don Juan” of the team?
Brunner: (Guillermo Barros) Schelotto because he is willing to work with you and help you out. The guy has been playing for awhile and I have learned from him

O’Rourke: For me I have to say Frankie (Hejduk). Just because of his work rate and he plays in my position. He has also been around for a while and knows the game. He helps me a lot out and I enjoy that. I have also learned a lot for Schelotto as well.

If you can play in a foreign country where and why?
Brunner: Germany. Just because they love the sport and I would want to play in Budesliga such as (Bayern) Munich.

O’Rourke: Italy. I just love the culture and the style of football they play out there.

What do you think of Nordecke supporters?
Brunner: Sweet. It motivates me when I hit the field and I feel like I am in Europe. They are also that 12th man on the field.

O’Rourke: Awesome. I really appreciate that if there is a typical play good or bad they go wild. They never stop supporting us at all.
Any pet peeves about soccer?
Brunner: No, I really don’t have any.

O’Rourke: Yea, it’s anything that (Cuauhtemoc) Blanco does. I hate when he does the unnecessary back heals and falls downs a lot. I just don’t like him at all.

What other sports do you follow:
Brunner: I follow tennis and hockey. Go Flyers.
O’Rourke: I like basketball, football and soccer.

Why did you choose to play pro soccer?
Brunner: I played baseball and soccer when I was younger. I told my parents that I want to keep on playing soccer so I just stuck with it.

O’Rourke: I love it because you have different challenges everyday. It’s just the best everyday as well. I also have inner motivations and I love it.

If you were to score a goal at Crew Stadium what theme song do you want played?
Brunner: Whatever is motivating. I really don’t have a favorite song but I do like the band The Coons.

O’Rourke: I want the music score from Saw the movie. I think it’s really cool and I tell the guys we should add it to our warm up mix but they don’t want to.


  1. O'Rourke's comments are hilarious. I can't believe you let him get away with it.

  2. Danny was the better of the two.