All year long, we will be bringing you up close to members of the Tampa Bay Rowdies team.
In this feature of the 2012 Get to Know the Rowdies, we spotlight defender Frankie Sanfilippo, who is in his second season with Tampa Bay.
Defender Frankie Sanfilippo has been the team captain for both the 2011 and 2012 seasons. Sanfilippo was second on the team with 2,250 minutes of action in 25 starts in 2011.
Sanfilippo has started all 24 matches of the 2012 season and played in all 2,160 minutes, tied for most in the NASL. The defender was named NASL Defensive Player of the Week three times this season (May 29, July 23, and September 4). His recent award was due to his fantastic performance in the playoff-clinching win against the Strikers, where he scored in the 82nd minute.
Sanfilippo began his soccer career at San Jose State where he earned numerous honors, such as, NSCAA first team “Far West” All-American, First team “All-MPSF,” MPSF “All-Tournament” team and honorable mention on the All-MPSF team.
Following his college career, Sanfilippo was drafted 56th overall in the MLS SuperDraft by the San Jose Quakes but chose to stay and finish his degree in Sociology. In 2004, the San Diego, California native signed with the Syracuse Salty Dogs.
Following the Salty Dogs, Sanfilippo signed with the Rochester Rhinos in 2005. While with the Rhinos, he was named to the USL All-Star Team in 2006, and recorded over 2,000 minutes played. In 2007, the defender moved to the Carolina RailHawks, where he played as team captain until his move to the Charleston Battery in 2009. He returned to the Rhinos in 2010, where he played until his move to the Rowdies for the 2011 season.
What are you looking forward to most with the Rowdies?
Winning a championship and bringing back the Rowdies name
Do you have any gameday superstitions or traditions?
Drinking pedialyte and relaxing
What is your typical pre-match meal?
What has been your most memorable soccer moment thus far?
Playing in the all-star game and playing against Bolton Wanderers
Growing up, what soccer team did you support?
Didn’t really watch soccer. I was a San Diego Charger Fan.
What is your favorite thing about playing soccer?
The adrenaline rush and the intensity
Who is your all-time favorite soccer player?
Who is your favorite athlete outside of soccer?
What is your favorite sport outside of soccer?
What is your favorite sporting event to watch?
What is the best event (sports or other) you have ever seen live in person?
Duran Duran in concert
List your top three favorite movies.
North Shore, Rad, Breakin
Who is your favorite actor/actress?
Ryan Gosling and Sandra Bullock
What is your favorite song?
Send Me an Angel
What is your favorite TV show?
What has been the most memorable moment of your life thus far and why?
Getting married to my beautiful wife and then having my son Frankie
When was the most disappointed you have ever been and why?
When I was told I may not be able to play soccer my senior year at college
What is the toughest thing you have overcome in your life?
School - I suffered from ADHD when I was younger
What is your favorite meal?
Any kind of pizza
Where is your favorite place in the world?
San Diego Beaches
Where is your favorite vacation spot?
Hawaii and Park City, Utah
Is there one destination that you’ve never been but have always wanted to visit?
What is your favorite place where you have lived?
San Diego - nothing beats home
Do you have any siblings? How many?
One brother (Dominic) and One sister (Marianna)
What is your weirdest “quirk?”
I have an obsession with chocolate milk
What is your biggest fear?
What do you like doing in your free time?
Beach trips, concerts, movies
Who is your hero and why?
My parents - for their unconditional love
If you had to pick three words to describe you, what would they be?
Never give up
If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be? Why?
Brad Pitt. He just seems like a cool guy. Great actor - I love his movies
What is something you want your fans to know that they may not know yet?
I played four years of high school football. I haven’t only played soccer.
Are you married and do you have any children?
Yes I am. I have one son, Frankie - 21 months
Is there a sentimental or defining moment in your life that you wouldn’t mind sharing with us?
No, not really. I just treat every game the same. I try to play like it’s my last and give it my all.
Do you play soccer to honor anyone in your life?
Probably family and fans
Is there someone that you have met through soccer who you would consider an inspiration to you and why?
Scott Schweitzer. He taught me how to be a professional on and off the field. I really look up to him.
Chicken, Steak or Seafood: Steak
Coke or Pepsi: NO SODA!
Gatorade or Powerade: Gatorade
Cats or Dogs: Dogs
Facebook or Twitter: Facebook
X-Box or Playstation: Old school - Nintendo
Chocolate or Vanilla: Chocolate
iPhone, Droid or Blackberry: iPhone