Name: Brad Stuver
Place of Birth: Cleveland, OH
Current club: New York City FC
Debut year: 2013
Senior Career Teams: Columbus Crew SC (MLS), Wilmington Hammerheads (USL-loan), New York City FC (MLS)
Youth Teams: Cleveland Whitecaps
How did you start playing soccer?
My older brother was the first person in our family to play soccer so I, like all younger siblings, wanted to follow in his footsteps. I became a goalkeeper because my brother and his friends needed someone to shoot on and I stuck with it when I started playing club soccer.
How would you define yourself as a goalkeeper?
Pre-emptive. I pride myself on technical ability and the ability to read the game and be in the right position at the right time. Putting a strong emphasis on the small details allows a goalkeeper to make difficult situations look routine.
Which rival has impressed you the most?
I have played against some amazing players. Players like Alvaro Negredo, Kaka, David Villa but one of the most impressive for me was Alphonso Davies. It has been a pleasure to play against him and watch him go on to Bayern Munich.
How would you define New York City FC inside?
NYCFC is an amazing club with an amazing culture. The style of play is attractive but most of all, the players and staff within the club have a close bond and work together toward our common goals.
What model of gloves do you use? And why?
I have been drawn to the Phenomenon Magnetic because it is a form fitting glove that fits my thin hands. I also like that I have more control over the soccer ball and can really feel the control with a thinner palm.
What advice would you give those who were starting to play soccer?
My biggest advice is to play as many positions as possible and to play as much as possible. You dont have to play organized soccer, just go out with a ball and a wall or friends or whatever you have on hand and just play. The more touches on the ball, the better off you will be.
What qualities do you think are the most important for a goalkeeper?
When I look at goalkeepers, I look at their ability to read the game and their positioning. Some of the greatest goalkeepers I have studied have the ability to stop dangerous attacks before they happen or make difficult saves look routine because they know what will happen by reading the game and positioning themselves perfectly.
What has been the most important moment in your sports career?
I think the most important moment in my professional career was a friendly I played while I was with Columbus Crew SC against Valencia. It was my first professional game and it propelled me into a backup goalkeeper position where I have been able to grow as a player since then.
How do you overcome a serious mistake during a match?
The best way to overcome a mistake in a game is to forget it happened and to trust yourself and rely on your training. Field players are allowed to make constant mistakes throughout a game but a goalkeeper has to be perfect. Trusting yourself and your own ability will get you through any tough situation.
Any rituals before or during games?
Before each half I always touch each post and the crossbar and then stand with my back to the field visualizing the things I need to do to be successful. It helps center me and bring my attention to the game while blacking out everything else.