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XI Questions: Aaron Hohlbein

09/10/2005, 5:43pm CDT

UW junior defender and captain

Age: 20.
Hometown: Middleton. Born in Milwaukee, also lived in San Diego, Calif.
College accomplishments: Second team All-Big Ten Conference in 2003 and '04. Big Ten All-Freshman team selection in 2003. College Soccer News second team All-Freshman team in 2003.
UW statistics: 2004 — 2 goals, 1 assist, 5 points in 21 games (21 starts). 2003 — 1-2-4 in 18 games (18 starts).
Favorite clubs: Arsenal, AC Milan.

I. Why soccer?

I guess it's just the team, the camaradie with the teammates, and I just love the game. Everything about it, whether it's pickup or playing in a real game. It's just a beautiful game. That's kind of why I've stuck to it.

II. Who is the toughest individual you have faced?

Jeff Cunningham. He's so fast, hard to keep up with, and he's got skill. (Hohlbein played against the veteran MLS striker in an exhibition game in 2004 when he was training with the U.S. Under-20 team. He cleared a shot by Cunningham off the line during the game.)

III. What's the best soccer advice you've been given?

Have fun with it. My parents have always told me that — if you're not having fun with it, you shouldn't be doing it. And I'm having fun, so that just makes you want to work hard and makes it that much better.

IV. Who will win the 2006 World Cup?

I'm going to have to go with Germany. That's my parents' fatherland, so I'm going to stick with them.

V. What's been the best moment of your soccer career?

Playing in the state final in high school, that was pretty cool. (Hohlbein was a sophomore on the team Middleton team that lost to Milwaukee Marquette 2-0 in the WIAA Division 1 state final in 2000.)

VI. What would a scouting report about you say?

I would say solid defender, good in the air, not fast but kind-of-fast, just a solid player. (Any weaknesses?) Probably a little bit with the quickness, I could work on that. Communication, a little bit.

VII. Who has been your biggest influence in the game?

My brother (former Badger striker Jed Hohlbein). Ever since he was playing big-time stuff, he was playing ODP, high school, college, I kind of just followed his footsteps and took off from there. (Jed Hohlbein is close to signing with German fourth division side FC Eilenburg).

VIII. Which team is UW's biggest rival?

UW-Milwaukee. I would say that's our biggest road, because they're right down the road and there's just been, I don't want to say bad feelings, but some tension between us. A little edge. (Strange it's not a Big Ten team?) A little, I'd say. We're pretty big rivals with IU, too. We don't really care for them too much.

IX. Who is your soccer hero?

I guess I'd have to say my brother again. For the same reasons as before. He's always been there, he's a great player, knows the game, he loves the game, he treats it well.

X. What's the best goal you've ever seen?

Roberto Carlos' free kick goal from a few years back. (Carlos converted the "Greatest Free Kick Ever" for Brazil vs. France in 1997 in the Le Tournoi de France exhibition tournament.)

Check out the goal here:

XI. Your all-time Madison-area starting XI?

(While thinking about it). Man, this is tough.

Goalkeeper: Eric Hanson, Madison La Follette/UW.
Defenders: Aymar Sinaise, UW/PSC56; Watson Vaughn Prather, UW/PSC56; Joe Sergenian, Middleton/Edgewood College; Hamid Afsari, UW.
Midfielders: Tyler Guse, Middleton/PSC56; Victor Diaz, UW; Nick Van Sicklen, Madison West/UW; Noah Goerlitz, UW.
Forwards: Jed Hohlbein, Middleton/UW/PSC56; Chad Ingham, Middleton.
Subs: GK Greg Nordeng, Madison Memorial; D Aaron Hohlbein, Middleton/UW; D-M Ian Hoelker, Middleton; F Nolan Johnson, Middleton; F Aaron Lauber, UW.

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Tag(s): XI Questions