Friday, August 3, 2007

Pavon, Pete, Becks

I wrote an article on Carlos Pavon finally scoring for the Galaxy, but I also wanted to talk to him the other day when I went to interview some Galaxy players.

While we were talking with Landon Donovan, the Galaxy Deportivo crew stopped midfielder Pete Vagenas for an interview.

I tell you, you think you know someone - Pete is one of the longest-serving Galaxy players left on the club. He's a local guy, from out in Pasadena. I've interviewed him dozens of times, and he's always provided articulate, intelligent answers.

I didn't know he spoke Spanish.

I looked over at Luis, a little dumbfounded. "Did you know Pete spoke Spanish?"

He shook his head. "I had no idea."

We eavesdropped on the interview - Pete was explaining what the team could expect from Toronto. His Spanish is decent, too, around the par of Landon Donovan's, if you've ever caught any of his interviews in that language.

"Seven, then. That's seven Galaxy players who speak Spanish, as far as I know," I observed.

A British reporter asked me, "Are you counting Beckham in that?"

I answered in the afirmative. I've heard Beckham speak Spanish before. He's shy about it, and it's not great, but it's something.

When Carlos came out, the Galaxy press people let me know that he couldn't stay long - he was taking his kids to see the X-Games.
I decided not to rush an interview, but after he left, I wondered if any of his teammates would be joining the Pavon family in watching the X-Games. I'll bet Brooklyn and Romeo might have found the event kind of fun. They could have all hung out in the AEG box in the stadium together.


El Chueco said...

who are the seven Galaxy players that speak Spanish?

A.C. said...

1. Carlos Pavon 2. Abel Xavier 3. Landon Donovan 4. Pete Vagenas 5. Joe Cannon 6. Chris Albright 7. David Beckham

For all I know, though, Mike Caso or Josh Tudela also speak Spanish. I'm just listing the ones I do know que hablan.

El Chueco said...

wow, Joe Cannon and Albright speak Spanish? How good are they compared to Landon? Landon speaks very good Spanish...

A.C. said...

I'd say both Cannon and Albright are a notch lower than Donovan in thir proficiency. They get by, though. Both are interviewed pretty regularly by Spanish television.

A.C. said...

I'm always a bit surprised at how many people think Donovan speaks Spanish really well. It's very good for high school Spanish, which is where Donovan learned - well, there and from his teammates on club squads when he was younger.

I think he fools people a little bit because his accent is pretty good. He also sticks to basic phrases that he knows well. But he's prone to saying stuff like: "Los jugadores de Chivas jugaron bien. Ellos deservan la victoria."

So I'd say that there's a bit of Spanglish mixed in. Heck, it happens to most of us living in LA.

el chueco said...

True, Landon's accent and pronunciation may mask some grammatical defects but still, he makes himself understood very well. I personally think his Spanish is great, at least what I have heard on TV. I'm sure the Spanish-speaking media appreciate him talking to them in their language. Some even like him! The other day during the Galaxy-Dallas Superliga game, the commentators remarked that he's a nice guy and is always very courteous towards them, despite the "rivalry"...

A.C. said...

Yeah, it's funny, but I've been in mixed zones where the Spanish-speaking media will complain about how some of their own players won't stop to talk to them. Then they'll say, "Landon Donovan, he'll always talk to us."
Usually, Landon talks to everybody, until the press officers pull him away because the team bus is waiting, or something. I've very rarely ever seen him refuse an interview.

Gene said...

Andrea, since you and Luis seem to attend training sessions regularly, is Beckham really in shape and health to start playing soon? It's impossible to determine the status of his injury from most articles and you have to wonder how far away from game shape is he.

A.C. said...

Well, that's just it, we've been at training, but we haven't seen Beckham. He's been getting treatment inside the facility and just started running on the treadmill before the team left on the latest road trip. He had a couple of practices where he worked very lightly on the ankle, but in general, he hasn't been out at all, and there's no way to get a gauge on his game fitness when we haven't seen him play.