A mainstay of the Kitsap Soccer Club lineup so far this season, midfielder Kazushiro Hamaguchi has already established himself as one of the team’s top attacking threats. Find out what he thinks of the club so far, whether he thinks his prior experience in the NPSL will help him and what’s behind his Twitter handle – @nextbaggio10?
How did you come to sign with Kitsap Soccer Club?
I just came to the invitational tryout and contacted (associate head) coach Liviu (Bird.)
What do you like most about this club so far?
Everything organized. And I like all the stuff, everything’s looking forwards, into the future. We don’t look back. I like the environment and the people supporting us. Everyone really has strong character, strong personality, but when we come here, everyone’s focused on soccer.
Do you think your experience in the NPSL (Hamaguchi is the only Kitsap SC player to have played previously in the league) will give you any advantage this season?
I think yes, but Chuy (teammate Jesus “Chuy” Sanchez) has experience in the PDL (Premier Development League), so he knows more, he has more experience. I think PDL sides are even (with the NPSL). I think mentality and passion always brings you to victory. That’s what I think will help.
How would you describe yourself as a player?
Hard work. I’m not much of a technical player. I try to player clever, but it’s still hard. I’m a hard worker.
Your Twitter handle is @nextbaggio10, a reference to former Italian great Roberto Baggio. Why Baggio?
Roberto Baggio was my idol. He brought me to soccer. I was a goalie until I was 19, but I realized I wanted to be something more. I didn’t want to sit back in goal, to play goalie. I felt more potential to play as a midfielder.
— By Rob Shore