Meet The Team: Defender Brandon Fricke
February 19, 2019
This is part of our series where we reach out to Lansing Ignite players and coaches in an effort to get to know them before the season starts. Today we talk to Defender Brandon Fricke.. He is a veteran at PDL squad Des Moines Menace, has played for USL squad Charlotte Independence, and has played in Sweden.
Westen Shelton: What position do you play, and how would you describe the way you play? What do you think The Assembly Line will enjoy most about the way you play?
Brandon Fricke: I play centerback, but have the ability to slide into the defensive midfield as well. I see myself as a leader and organizer for the team in the back line. I always want to think through the game and help put the players around me in the best positions to help the team in all phases of the game. I see myself as a composed player both in defense and on the ball, not afraid to get stuck in when needed, and I like to pick a pass to spring the team into attack whenever possible.
WS: You are one of several Des Moines Menace players that have been signed across USL League One so far. What is it about that program that turns out so much great talent? What was your experience like with them? You played there for 7 seasons if my count is right.
BF: The Des Moines Menace have always been a successful franchise and will continue to be in my opinion due to the professional nature of the club. From the owner, through the entire staff, and the players, the environment is professional and structured for success, which is something that some PDL (now USL League Two) teams struggle to maintain year to year. The organization has created a culture of winning and pushing players on to the next level, both huge drivers in attracting top talent to the club. For me, it was an honor and a privilege to compete for my hometown club so many seasons. Like all players that have been with the team, the club, community and the fans really embraced me and propelled me along throughout my development as a player.
WS: You played all 120 minutes in the PDL playoffs against Coach Nate Miller’s Lansing United squad last year. If you do remember the game, can you take me through it, and what you thought about how Lansing United played? That was a super intense game, and you guys totally broke our hearts!
BF: Yea that was a great game! It was a tough game for us to find a rhythm, and a very smart and tactical game with both teams punching and counterpunching. I think both teams worked hard to stifle the attack of the other, and you always felt it was going to be tough for either team to get a goal. I credit the work rate and organization of the Lansing team that night for really limiting our chances going forward and creating problems for us defensively, especially on the counter. In the end, penalties left it in our favor on the night, so I’ll take it!
WS: You have been playing in Sweden the past few years. Can you tell me a little about your experience there, and maybe a little about how the soccer culture differs over there?
BF: Playing in Sweden was a great experience both personally and professionally; I was thrown out of my comfort zone and had to adapt quickly. I enjoyed the opportunity to learn a new culture and meet some great people. Soccer is much more ingrained into the culture over there as most towns have several teams. Transitioning away from the American style of play, I personally found the game to be much more tactical oversees, which I enjoyed because I learned a lot more on how to think through the game and how to be a true professional day in day out. Overall, it was a great experience and taught me several lessons that have pushed me forward in my career.
WS: What was your favorite moment you ever had on a soccer field?
BF: My junior season at Butler we were at home against our biggest rival, Indiana. The Bowl was packed, and we found ourselves down 2-0 with 10 minutes to go. Somehow we clawed back to make it 2-2 and go to overtime when David Goldsmith ended it with a diving header to win 3-2! The atmosphere and support were fantastic that night, and the fight the team showed to come back and win the game made for an unforgettable night.
WS: What hobbies do you have when you aren’t playing soccer?
BF: Over the last couple years, I have really gotten into woodworking. I have always liked building things, and it is a hobby that allows me to be creative and craft something from start to finish which can be a nice distraction at times! I like to think I am a foodie and love to try out local coffee shops and restaurants so I am looking forward to seeing what Lansing has to offer!
WS: What are you hoping to work on and improve this year in order to make it to the next level?
BF: I want to continue developing my ability to read the game and organize the team properly. I always work to improve my speed of play both offensively and defensively, especially in transition moments.
The team the club has built will allow me to showcase my abilities and continue to grow as a player. I’m excited to join up with the squad and meet all of the staff and supporters!
Previous “Meet The Team” Interviews…