This is the latest installment of We Are TFC. Every week, we’ll sit down with one of the Reds and help you get to know them a little bit better, on and off the field. This week, Devang Desai chats with rookie Tsubasa Endoh. The Japanese midfielder has quickly become a fan favourite. We hope you’ll enjoy this series and let us know which TFC players you’d like to see profiled in the future.
Taking a look at your phone – what picture means the most to you and why?
ENDOH: This picture was taken at the draft. It’s me with my agent and my Mom. When I was in Japan I told my Mom not to come to the draft because I wasn’t confident I would get drafted. I didn’t want to be embarrassed and make her embarrassed so I told her to stay home and watch it from Japan. She decided to come without saying anything to me and then I got picked by Toronto FC, ninth overall. It was the craziest day.
Who is your favourite soccer player and why?
ENDOH: It used to be Frank Lampard and now he’s playing in the same league as me which is crazy [laughs]. When I was young I used to watch the Premier League all day. He was Chelsea’s goal scorer and the way he played was similar to the way I wanted to play when I was young. I wanted to be like him.
How would people close to you describe you in one word?
ENDOH: For example I don’t like to wait for someone, like if we had a meeting and someone is late. I get angry easily [laughs].
What’s your favourite pastime?
ENDOH: I like to play Golf. I haven’t been able to play that much in Toronto but when I go back to Japan I will. My Dad basically forced me to play when I was in middle school when he started to play and it became one of my hobbies.
Who is the funniest player on the team?
ENDOH: I’ll say Jay Chapman.
Jay said that you will not touch a soccer ball before a game..
ENDOH: It’s true [laughs]. I just don't like it. I will not touch a ball before warmups. It started recently.
Strangest things you’ve seen your teammates do before a game?
ENDOH: I don’t really pay attention to anyone else during game days so it’s hard to tell.
ENDOH: I like the Matt Damon Bourne movies, as well as The Adjustment Bureau.
Favourite music artist?
ENDOH: Recently I’ve been listening to Zara Larsson.
During the off-season how are you killing time?
ENDOH: Once this season is over I’m going to go back to Japan and spend time with my family and my friends. Maybe get some travel in.
Outside of your friends and family, what do you miss the most about Japan?
ENDOH: I would say the food. It’s one of the things Japanese people miss the most because we have a unique cuisine. My mom’s cooking is the biggest thing I miss right now.
Have you found any good Japanese restaurants in Toronto?
ENDOH: Yea I have. One of them is called Miku. That’s the one I really like. The other one is in Yorkville and it’s called Yamato. That’s a quality restaurant as well.
If you weren't a soccer player what would you be doing?
ENDOH: I would like to be a tennis player. I love watching tennis.
Who is your favourite player?
ENDOH: I love Roger Federer. He’s just a genius.
Huge comeback for Fed against Marin Cilic..
ENDOH: He won?! I saw he was down two sets.
Saved three match points and won in five sets..
ENDOH: No way! That’s crazy.
What’s been your favourite moment with TFC thus far?
ENDOH: It was when I scored my first goal against FC Dallas in the home opener at BMO Field. It was a great moment because it wasn’t only that I scored the winning goal and the crowd was fantastic, but my teammates came to me and congratulated me. That meant a lot. I felt part of the team.
Who are your heroes?
ENDOH: I don’t really have heroes, but someone I do look up to is Novak Djokovic because of the way he lives, the way he cares about his body and the way he plays. He doesn’t get hurt that much anymore because he started to care about the little details which has led to his great performances. I read his book, and he talked about the way he eats and trains. It’s something I want to emulate.
When I say ‘Toronto’ what’s the first thing that comes to your mind?
ENDOH: Even before I came to Toronto I would say multicultural and now after living here I would say the same. Before the MLS SuperDraft I knew Toronto was such a multicultural city. It’s a great place.
What is your ultimate goal in life?
ENDOH: It’s my ultimate goal, right? To win the World Cup with Japan. That’s been my dream since I was 10 years old.
Let us know who you would like to see featured in the next We Are TFC!