Eddie Herstenberg is a community-minded player that has become a star and fan favorite in both Cincinnati and Dayton, starring for the PASL Saints and the USL PRO Dutch Lions.
He is one of those players that you build a team around, which is exactly what Dayton has done. Herstenberg is now one of the longest-tenured players on the team and his influence, as well as his passion and enthusiasm for the beautiful game, is felt each and every day.
1. How much has the Dutch Lions organization grown since you first started with the club?
The club, as a whole, has grown tremendously since I first started here in its inception year. The vision and directional ideas haven’t changed and it has been great to see the club accomplish what it has in these recent years. Starting basically from ground zero as a PDL team, developing and growing a youth academy with a professionally developed approach, now having men’s and women’s pro teams competing with and against the highest level of soccer clubs in the U.S., is a great achievement for the club.
2. How different is the outdoor game from playing indoors in the PASL?
There is a big difference between the indoor game and outdoor game. While the technical skills and quick combination play is necessary to play at high levels for both, it is showcased in a higher paced, even chaotic way, playing indoors. The outdoor game you see it in a more strategic fashion and in slower, bigger, more tactical ways. The game in its true form is the same, but when it comes to specifically comparing indoor and outdoor soccer at the highest levels, they are very different.
3. What was it like to play at Red Bull Arena to open the season?
Starting the season off in such a great venue really has set the tone for the year. It is a fantastic stadium and the field was great. It is a place you dream of playing at in any moment of the season. This is a new season, for us and for the league, playing there at the start was a great experience.
4. What are your personal goals for the season? What about team goals?
Personally, I hope to contribute to the team day in and day out. I want to continually raise my game on several levels and enjoy playing the sport I love. The goal this year is to bring some creativity, energy, and leadership to training and games whenever I get the opportunity to step on to the field. As a team, the playoffs and competing for a championship is on everyone’s mind. We have some great players and personalities with a history of getting better each year. This year is no different, and getting better will include a run at the championship.
5. Who is your favorite player? What player would you compare yourself to?
My favorite player of all time is Ronaldinho, his technical ability and fun approach to the game is great to watch. I’d love to compare myself to a Toni Kroos or Bastian Schweinsteiger of FC Bayern. I love watching them play and their creativity and calmness in the midfield is incredible. It’s more of a dream than a comparison though. I can’t compare myself to those players at that highest level though, there’s no comparison to their abilities.
6. Where do you see the Dutch Lions in 5-10 years?
I see them playing in a wonderful stadium in front of thousands of people in the Orange Family, with several young players playing in their pro team that came out of the youth academy. Hopefully a few that I was able to train or coach myself.
7. What kind of market is Dayton for soccer?
I think it is a strong market. The great family-driven communities that are very centered around sports and school spirit really enjoy the entertainment of sport. Soccer is growing in Dayton like everyone else, but there are already people here that know and love the game.
8. What have the Crew loanees brought to the team?
The players from Columbus have brought a lot to the team and the club. Of course, in terms of ability and on the field, the have raised the level of the team quite a bit. But they have also added a good deal of professionalism and mentality to the club and team that will benefit us in games but also in training. We’ve already seen the positives that will come from the partnership and the guys we have with us right now.
9. What new player are you most excited to play with?
Many of the new players bring a lot of good attributes to the squad. So far I’ve enjoyed playing alongside each of them, I can’t pick just one.
10. How would you describe your playing style?
I’m a player that enjoys being out on the field every chance I get. Any time I can get out there and play in front of people, and have them enjoy it as much as I do, that’s what I love. As far as a playing style, naturally I like bringing the indoor and outdoor games together a bit, with a lot of short passes and combinations with other players while being very fun and creative with the ball. I do not like defending so much so I am very much in favor of keeping the ball and getting a lot of tiki-taka soccer in.
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