DC101 deejay Greg Roche is a soccer fanatic. He pulls for D.C. United, Ruud van Nistelrooy and the Dutch national team. You can hear Roche on DC101 (101.1 FM) weekdays from 3 to 7 p.m.
What sports are you into? Did you play any?I ran track in high school and college, and that was the extent of my sports participation. As far as today, I'm a huge soccer fan. D.C. United, being the team that they are, I've really gotten behind them. When I moved down here from Philly about five years ago, it was really D.C. United that got me interested in D.C. sports in general and was the first team that kind of made me sway over from Philly teams to D.C. teams. They're the team I root hardest for locally.
What was your take on Freddy Adu being traded to Real Salt Lake?Honestly, it was a good deal for both parties. I think Freddy wasn't getting the playing time that he needed here, and D.C. United already had a guy in Christian Gomez, who was doing the job better than Freddy. He wasn't going to get the time, so I think it needed to be done.
You guys did that "Water Wars" [water gun] contest with some of those guys [United players], right?Yeah, that was really awesome with Nick Rimando, who has been traded. I'm actually looking at bringing Bobby Boswell in for the next edition of Water Wars.
That's the good thing about the soccer players. They don't have the attitude that a lot of pro athletes have where they're up in this little castle that you can't get to. A lot of those guys you can see hanging out on a Friday or Saturday night at a local bar. It's really cool.
How did you get into soccer? You didn't play? No, in fact it was really weird that it wasn't until the World Cup came to the U.S. [in 1994] that I was like, "Hey, everyone in the world loves this game. I think I've got to see what's going on with it." So I kind of picked a team -- I picked Holland -- and just really took it from there.
My brother went to Holland vs. Saudi Arabia when they played at RFK.Yeah, that was the first game I ever watched. I was still in Philly and I watched on TV. It was really cool to see the atmosphere and how everyone was singing and going crazy for the game.
The Dutch team is intense with the orange and everything.Orange is my favorite color, and that's why I picked them, which is really the lamest reason ever to pick a soccer team. In the crowd, everyone just wears orange. It's awesome. I've been to games in Europe and to be in that atmosphere is great.
The best thing about crowds at soccer games is that they don't wait for the JumboTron to tell you to chant and stuff. They just start singing, and they do it on their own throughout the match.
What's the coolest thing you've ever seen at a European soccer match?I went to see a team based in Amsterdam, Ajax, and they were playing a Spanish team. Everybody got little plastic flags, and when the team came onto the field, everyone in the stadium -- 65,000 -- was just waving these flags back and forth. Being one of those people and then looking across and seeing how cool it looked, it just gives you chills.
-- Rich Campbell