Robbie Findley was with Real Salt Lake for three and a half years before departing for England at the end of the 2010 season. After a two-year hiatus, he's back in MLS, and he caught up with the Deseret News' James Edward recently to talk about returning to the place where his career got off to such a great start.
Q: You've been away from Real Salt Lake for two years, but does it feel like you ever left?
A: Not really. A lot of the same guys are here, the same style of play as far as soccer. The fans are still out there, and they've been there for a while. The support is good, and I'm really looking forward to the year.
Q: You probably didn't have the individual success you wanted in Europe, but do you feel you've come back a better player based on the experience you gained?
A: I do. The situation wasn't the best, I had five different coaches in the couple years I was there. I learned a lot from each of those coaches. I feel sharper, and I'm a couple years older, so I've got a little more experience under my belt.
Q: How much has Real Salt Lake coach Jason Kreis changed since you've been gone?
A: He's the same, but definitely more experienced, you know what I mean. I've been gone for a couple years and he's definitely learned a lot and come a long way. He stays to the same mentality. He was a player, he knows how we feel and he tries to do the best for us.
Q: There's been a lot of talk about the depth of this team, particularly at the forward position. Several times this year Joao Plata has come off the bench to spark the team in the second half. How important is that depth going forward?
A: It's important to have any kind of depth on any team. Whenever you do have subs come on, that's what you want from them, spark a little something, get some energy. Everybody else has been coming around and you're coming fresh of the bench.
Q: After spending a few years in England, how do the fans of Real Salt Lake compare to what you've seen over there?
A: They're great over there chanting and everything and stuff like that. It can get kind of crazy. But I've said it from the beginning when I first came here, the support we have here is amazing too. Especially from the beginning when things weren't going so well. We know we have real supporters here and we're really thankful for that.