A consistent, well-rounded player in the midfield, Sébastien Thurière of the USL’s San Antonio FC and the Haitian national team, spent some time discussing the importance of soccer in his life, the USL’s growth, and his inspirations.
After a successful college career at the University of South Florida, Sebastien Thuriere has continued to be a bull on the pitch. He is in his first season with expansion San Antonio FC of the USL, and also has earned a frequent place on the Haitian men’s national team in recent years. A strong defender who always controls and distributes the ball well, Thuriere is an incredibly steadying presence in the midfield. The 26-year-old from St. Petersburg
Q: How exciting is it to see the USL’s growth as a league firsthand?
Thuriere: Since I joined the USL, I have seen nothing but tremendous growth. The league has grown in every way, and is great for American soccer. When I started playing, non soccer fans had never even heard of a different division other than the MLS. I think the USL is very well-known now. It creates more opportunities for players trying to follow their dreams.
Q: You currently play for San Antonio FC, a first year expansion side in the USL. How have the fans taken to the team so far?
Thuriere: The fan base is great. They are a fan base that’s really engaged, on and off the field. They are true believers that support us through our up and downs.
Q: You’ve earned caps with the Haitian national team. How valuable has that experience been to you?
Thuriere: My national team experience means a lot to me. It has opened up my eyes to true high level football. I have had a chance to play against some of the best teams, and players in the world. Football is a simple game and I learn the value of it every time I am able to play for my country.
Q: How important is soccer to the Haitian people, especially after the tragic earthquakes?
Thuriere: Football is everything to the Haitian people, and has always been. It is by far the biggest sport and every young boy dreams of becoming a superstar player. I am always humbled when I see the passion of the fans in Haiti. I have never been treated with so much love and respect in my life. The earthquake in Haiti was a true tragedy, but the Haitian people have faced many difficulties even before that. Yet, the support has always been there. When we put on a good performance, we fill the people with so much happiness that it drives me every time to give it my all.
Q: Who has been the toughest mark for you on the international level?
Thuriere: In my 20 caps with the National team, my hardest opponent was playing against Brazil in Manaus, Brazil. That day, they were better than us in every way, we couldn’t get close to any of them.
Q: Was there any player, or team, you especially admired growing up?
Thuriere: I grew up a strong French national team supporter, and I am thankful to have grown up in the Zinedine Zidane era. Zizou is my all time favorite player from his days at Juventus, to Real Madrid. But the France 98 World Cup team, is my all time favorite group of players.
Q: Who has given you the best advice for your career, coach, friend, family or otherwise?
Thuriere: My father has been a huge motivator and advice giver in my life. Teammates, coaches, agents, and fans all come and go, but my father has always been there.
Q: What songs must be on your pregame playlist to get you fired up?
Thuriere: My music changes depending my mood. I’m not a big hype type player, I like to stay as cool and relaxed as possible before games.
Q: What is your favorite Haitian food?
Thuriere: Whole grilled snapper with rice, beans, and plantains.
Q: If you weren’t a professional soccer player, what would your occupation be?
Thuriere: I grew up in a coastal town and love everything to do with the ocean. Maybe something in the marine sciences field.