Eugene Rupinski, Brotherly Game: What was it that brought you to Philadelphia?
Jay Simpson: Chris Albright came over to London to meet with me, and hte passion that he had for the club and the desire of what he wanted to achieve, it really appealed to me. He invited me over to see if the facilities and the city, and I loved it. I loved it at first sight. I’m excited to come over grateful for the opportunity.
Mark Narducci, Philadelphia Inquirer: Have you watched much of MLS? How much do you know about the league?
JS: MLS is actually growing every season in the UK. They show a lot of games on the TV. A lot of English players have gone over there such as Frank Lampard and it obviously started with David Beckham - since he went to MLS, every year they show more and more games, so it’s getting a lot more exposure in the UK, and some of the English players are over here that I know trying to watch the games when they can. The time difference is a bit difficult, but if I see the game’s on and can’t watch I’ll watch the highlights. It’s getting a lot bigger in the UK, and a lot more people are starting to take notice of it. I’ve been trying to watch more games, and that was even before I knew about the interest of the Philadelphia Union.
Matt DeGeorge, Delco Times: We talked to Earnie Stewart a couple weeks ago about your signing, and he mentioned you playing in League One and League Two, and it being very fast and very physical kind of soccer. I was wondering if you could expand on that a little bit because that's kind of what MLS is. What’s it like playing in those kinds of leagues with that kind of physicality?
JS: In England, it’s sort of very physical and very direct. In the UK, a majority of teams are like an English traditional team where they try and go forward fast, and you’ve got an English saying where “You’ve got to win the back before you can play,” but it’s very physical, and in MLS I’m very excited to come over here. They try and keep the ball on the ground in games that I’ve watched, they’re sort of tactical players with good technique, so I’m looking forward to getting started over here.
Kevin Kinkead, Philly Voice: You got here on Friday and haven’t been around that long. Can you give us your first impressions of your teammates, the coaching staff, and what you’ve seen in your first couple days here?
JS: I only came in on Friday so the short time that I've been here, I’ve got to say that the dressing room that they have here is very impressive. It’s rare where you going into a place where everyone is so welcoming toward you. It’s a great bunch of boys here, everyone gets on really well here together. It’s kind of like one unit, and from my early Impressions like a family. They’ve put a lot of work into setting up a good locker room group pointed in the right direction where they all get on pretty well. So I’m hoping I’ll be able to settle in quickly and contribute toward that, but the boys here have been brilliant. As I’ve said it’s a great locker room and I’m looking forward to playing with the players as they seem like a real honest bunch of lads and they’re all helping each other so that’s helped me settle in already and I hope it continues.
Jonathan Tannenwald, Philly Inquirer: For you coming over here - League Two is not on tv all that often over here. People know about Leyton Orient, but what are you expecting - you spoke a little bit about the tactics, but and style but what do you expecting about the level of defending, specifically things like that because you have the goalscoring going over there. I think people want to know what do you think it will translate over here to?
JS: Well that’s what I’ll be working on in training, so I’ll be working hard in training doing my finishing, my movements around the box, and hopefully I’ll be able to bring it over here. It’s just going to take a bit of time for me to get used to playing with the players and Jim (Curtin)’s plays, so hopefully I can repay his faith in me by scoring a lot of goals. Now that I’m here I’ll be settling, playing with the players and training a bit more and trying to get a better understanding between them. Hopefully get a few chances in and I’l be able to put them into the back of the net.
JT: How many of the other English guys who’ve played over here have you ever had a chance to talk to about travel and the weather and all the other things like that, that often are very new experiences for the European players that come over here.
JS: A good friend of mine Jobi McAnuff - he plays for the Jamaican national side - I spoke to him a lot about the MLS. He’s very up about, traveling over here for his international games with Jamaica, and he told me about the traveling and the different climatez that you play in. I hadn't really had a chance to talk to many other players about the league until I got over here and met my teammates but I know there’s going to be some long journeys. We start off by going to Vancouver, but I'm really excited about it to get to see a lot of the country and it's all part of the experience the travel and such. I'm excited and looking forward to the challenge and I think it's going to be great season
KK: The Union has been a team over recent years that plays with one striker in a 4-2-3-1 with one guy up top who’s asked to do a lot of work. You’ve played for a lot of different teams in a lot of different places. I assume you’ve played in a lot of different systems - one striker, two strikers - is there any sort of set-up that you're most comfortable with?
JS: Aall through my career I’ve played with one up front as the striker, I’ve played with two, I’ve played in the 10, I’ve played left wing, right wing, but coming in when I spoke to Chris on the phone he explained to me about the formation that they like to play - the 4-2-3-1 - he told me what they expect from the striker up top, the number 9. With regards to the formation, I’m happy to be playing any system that benefits the team. So I’m over here now and I'm sure I'll get a chance to work on the shape and for me to get a feel on it, so it’s a system I played in before - not so often, but I have played in this formation before and this is the way that the Union play. They’ve had success ,they made the playoffs last year, so I’m excited to come in and try and fight for my place.