99 Rush To Represent Hawaii At West Soccer Regionals

Defensive play clearly has been a strength for three-time HYSA State Cup champion 99 Rush.

Mililani resident Jonathan Connor and his teammates are hoping that will again be the case next week in Albuquerque, N.M., where 99 Rush will represent Hawaii at the 2014 U.S. Youth Far West Soccer Regionals. (The winner of the regional will advance to the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships in Germantown, Md., July 22-27.) “It’s always good when you get to save a ball that could have resulted in a goal,” said Connor, 15. “I’m excited. It (the regional) will be a new experience, and the competition will be harder than it usually is. As long as we work together and give our all, we should be fine.”

Connor has been one of the mainstays of the team for all three of 99 Rush’s aforementioned State Title runs. He and his teammates will travel to San Diego for the Surf Cup National Tournament next month.

Connor, who plays for Mililani during the high school season, recently took some time to visit with MidWeek‘s Central Oahu Islander:

What is your earliest soccer-related memory?

Probably when I started playing AYSO when I was 8 and my dad was coaching me. I wasn’t that talented. I was always tripping over the ball and stuff. After practicing, it started to get easier.

Who’s had the biggest impact on your life?

My dad (Rob). Ever since my mom died when I was 2, he’s supported me through everything that I’ve done.

What area of your game have you been focusing on lately?

Thinking ahead — what to do with the ball before I get it.

Who is your hardest-working teammate at Rush’s practice sessions — the player who gives 110 percent at all times?

We always push each other and give each other challenges to improve. It’s hard to single one out. Most of the time, we are usually all giving our 110 percent.

What Internet site do you frequent the most?

I probably go to the Surf News Network, Soccer.com or Nike.com.

What is your least favorite household chore?

Probably washing the dishes or doing laundry.

What movie could you watch over and over?

The Hunger Games. When you head to a mall, what store is your first stop?

I usually go to Town and Country — those kind of surf shops.

Who are three of your favorite musical artists?

Right now, I listen to stuff like Weezer, Sublime and Nirvana.

When you have time away from soccer and school, how do you like to spend it?

I go to the beach with my friends and go diving, surfing or body boarding. You’re stuck on the Island of Kahoolawe. You can have an endless supply of one food. What would it be?

Probably fettuccine Alfredo.

What celebrity would you most like to take to your prom?

(Actress) Ariana Grande.