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Johannes Demarzi: Our Senior Senator, Leader and Legend!

Johannes, finally… a player profile time for you… you’ve been involved with SF City literally since Day 1, describe the feelings that come to mind when you think of the progress made.

Proud. What started as a quality men’s team has turned into a burgeoning franchise. I don’t think any of the older guys thought it would turn into what we’ve become. It’s a bit surreal, really. Playing in the PDL this summer alongside (and against) some of the brightest college players (De Luna, Mirner, Jordy, Kam, Dylan, the Stanford boys, and others) is something I never expected would happen in this stage of my life. Hopefully they all come back next summer!

You’re also one of the vets, and the oldest rostered player… what is your role more suited to: You performing week in week out or being coach/leader/vet on the field at the same time or both?

I don’t know if I approached it that way. My mentality was always to show up and do what was needed to help the team win. However, your question does bring to mind Jackie Moon – a true sports idol and champion.

You’ve previously mentioned you like playing in the #9 spot, but also play heavily as a winger too, preference there? Why?

Probably nostalgia, more than anything. I grew up playing the #9 and it wasn’t until college that my role expanded to the #7/#11. In the system we play, the #7/#11 get quite involved in the attack and become a second #9, so both fit the way I like to play.

Gnarly in 1 v 1, is there a sensation you feel taking on defenders?

With the sticky grass at Kezar, I’m constantly hoping to not trip over the ball.

Favorite goal for SF City for you has been…

The game winner against Davis in the final qualification game for the Open Cup. At that time, we had no idea that the PDL was on the horizon, so it meant more meaningful games at a time when we and the fans may not have had anything to play for for likely another half a year. A close second was the second goal vs Vegas. It was a lot of fun celebrating with the fans and getting the first win at home.

This season was tough for you (Red Card vs. Fresno and hamstring injury), what was that like?

Eh – both were frustrating, but that’s part of the game. The red card was pretty benign – I’ve certainly said a heck of a lot worse to a referee, so to be sent off when I didn’t get to use a four-letter word felt as though I didn’t get my money’s worth. Maybe we’ll see her (the ref) next season and I can really earn being sent off.

You were so pumped at one point you had to go to work before a game to control your nerves… please elaborate…

I had lots to do. See below.

Your work outside of SF City includes working as an attorney, but you’ve said you hardly practice law anymore? Please elaborate…

Yeah I quit litigating over a year ago. I’ve since started an education technology company called In Class Today, alongside a brilliant professor at Harvard, Todd Rogers, and wonderful, talented woman Niki Choo, who recently earned her masters from the Ed school at Harvard. We partner with school districts in order to help them reduce their chronic absenteeism. However, the work I was doing prior to the match was putting out all the legal fires (pro bono) that the likes of Danny Kirkland, Dylan Murphy, Ben Flatley, Adam Ringler, Reed Williams, Kevin Gould, etc., start, with terrific frequency.

Supporter-ownership is key for the club’s success: what does it mean to you, as well as the fans support, mean personally and for the team while physically on the pitch?

I think there’s been one theme with these player profile/bios – the fans and their support mean the most to the guys on the field. I’m going to forget some names, but seeing the likes of Gonos, Pogdis, Joachim, Casey, Schaefer, Daniel, and others, after each game is amazing. Adding those in management, Jacques, Steve, Charles, etc., I think it all means one thing: SF City is in great hands.

You’re carrying the flag for lots of City players it seems past and present, because of your status into the folklore of SF City FC, what about the history of the club spurs you on?

Everyone is committed to doing things the right way, and that’s present in every aspect of the club…unlike what we’re seeing at other clubs like Burlingame. Oh, I love how they dismissed the rivalry early on in the season. Doing so only intensifies a rivalry, but I don’t think anyone in management is bright enough to figure that one out. That entire club can select option 2. If you’re wondering what that means, ask Danny Kirkland and Ben Flatley.

Anything else we need to know about you…

Sure – Danny Kirkland and I, along with the other older guys, Dylan, Austin, Flatley, AJ, Barry, etc., will be at Finnegan’s Wake, September 9th, at 7 PM on the nose. We’d love to see you all there. It’ll be a scream…