07/16/2013 9:22 AM
Just like Kurtis Pederson (featured last week), Lenny Kusina is another one of the new faces to find himself in Bellingham United FC colors this season. At 19 years old, his collegiate career is just getting started and hopefully it’s only the beginning of a long relationship with the Hammers as well.
Born in Minneapolis, MN, Kusina has called many places home before Bellingham. Some of those places include his parent’s home country of Zimbabwe and well as Illinois and Alaska. Before attending Western Washington University, Kusina played soccer for Shattuck St. Mary’s School (A boarding school in Minnesota that excels in athletics, arts and academics). Now as he finishes his first season with the Hammers and approaches his second season with the WWU Vikings, the computer science major continues to cement himself as a local star here in Whatcom County.
I caught up with Lenny recently, so that you could get to know him a little bit better.
I watched you play for WWU last year, you seemed to progressively get better and better each game. Has playing for the Vikings helped bring out your potential quicker?
Lenny: The coaching at WWU has helped me progress quickly. Greg Brisbon and Travis Connell have helped me with my game and motivated me a ton.
What made you decide to try out for the Hammers?
Lenny: I decided to try out for the Hammers because I knew it would be a good experience and quality playing environment for me. Also because of the amazing support that Bellingham has.
Has it been easy to fit right in with second year Hammers? Even those who don't play on WWU's team with you?
Lenny: Everything takes time and chemistry is important in all sports. So yea it has been pretty easy fitting in because we have a quality group of guys and I have built relationships and gained quality chemistry with my teammates.
What will you take from your time with the Hammers and use while playing for WWU this fall and vice versa?
Lenny: For Western I am an outside forward so playing outside back for BUFC has helped me a lot on the defensive end of my game. Also learning from the older guys is something that is always going to help me with my game for the fall.
Coach Calloway has referred to you as a "freak of nature" on the pitch when speaking of the way you twist and bend while trying to hold onto the ball or take it away. Have you always had this style throughout your childhood?
Lenny: As a child I was always adventurous and aggressive so that's how I kind of express who I am on the field. I have been gifted with so much athleticism which gives me the opportunity to be really crafty.
More than anything, you seem to have a real knack for holding onto the ball (something that comes in handy with NCAA's time rules), what's going through your mind when you're going 1v1 with a guy?
Lenny: In a 1v1 situation everything depends on where you are on the field and if you has support. I have been told to just go ahead and attack the defender at pace and beat him with my speed. So I am thinking about the best position I can get myself in to create a scoring opportunity for my teammates
Where do you aspire to be with soccer in the next four years or so?
Lenny: I aspire to at my best with soccer in the next four years; my best form and where the game takes me because I believe things happen for a reason.
WWU and BUFC both have excellent fan bases, how awesome has it been to play in front of all the fans?
Lenny: It has been an amazing experience and opportunity to play in front of Western’s and BUFC'S fans. I am very thankful for the all fans that come and support us.
What's your favorite moment from BUFC's 2013 so far?
Lenny: My favorite moment from BUFC's 2013 season so far is just seeing the fans and their loyalty and lovely support.