Q&A: Crew rookie Dilly Duka
Rookie midfielder Dilly Duka is happier now that he is finally contributing. After spending the first half of the season biding his time on the bench the Crew’s first pick (No. 8 overall) in the 2010 SuperDraft out of Rutgers played in several U.S. Open Cup and CONCACAF Champions League matches before making his first MLS start Sept. 4 vs. D.C. United.
The Montville, N.J. native discussed his first pro season and the endless search for the perfect pizza in Columbus.
MLSSoccer.com: How does it feel to get meaningful playing time after such a long wait?
Duka: I’m doing my thing, living the dream and playing soccer and enjoying it. I’m a young guy. I train hard and try to get better every day.
MLSSoccer.com: You spent most of last week in Washington, D.C., for two games. Did your family have a chance to see you?
Duka: I had four or five friends and both my brothers that came down and hung out for the weekend so it was great.
MLSSoccer.com: So, you haven’t been converted to a Midwest guy yet?
Duka: You know what? Ohio is a nice place. Every person, every friend, every family member I talk to I say I like it out here. It’s a young town.
MLSSoccer.com: Still, you miss the pizza back home?
Duka: Oh, man. I haven’t eaten pizza here in five or six months because when I first came here I ordered pizza from three different places because every place was about the same and I thought maybe I’d find one I liked. Back home I’d eat pizza three times a week. I just love it. It’s so different around here so I had to stop eating it.
MLSSoccer.com: What’s the perfect pizza?
Duka: Being a perfect pizza is the kind you get in Hoboken. You get really big slices. I really do like pizza back home. The difference might be the sauces and cheese.
MLSSoccer.com: You still on the hunt for the right pizza here?
Duka: Kwaku (rookie defender Nyamekye) and I about a month ago we actually went around searching for a pizzeria because I was bored one day. We went on about a 45-minute drive to a pizzeria, ‘Maybe this is the place, maybe this is place I can get my pizza.’
It came out and it was like the pizza you buy at Meijer (food store), a frozen pizza. I was so aggravated. I just gave up.
MLSSoccer.com: Back to soccer, you’re on a first place team. What’s that like in your first year?
Duka: Coming in as a rookie you’re here as part of a team that has a chance to win the Open Cup, lead the league, win the playoffs.
Everybody’s buzzing in the locker room with the opportunity to win everything.
I come from a college where we never even made the Big East tournament let alone the NCAA Tournament so I haven’t won a lot. Here we are in my first year and we can win some titles. Imagine winning the treble. That would be awesome.