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Jesse Bradley | Former Seattle Sounders FC Goalie

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence
The Cross Radio
October 6, 2022 6:10 am

Jesse Bradley | Former Seattle Sounders FC Goalie

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence

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October 6, 2022 6:10 am

Former Seattle Sounders FC Goalie Jesse Bradley joins the show to talk Mariners fever across the city, as well as share his inspiring journey.


AAA diversity, equity and inclusion are more than commitments. There absolutely vital to our continued success.

That's why we're always looking for talented and ambitious people who share our values and mission to provide excellent service and were committed to providing opportunities for continued career growth. To learn more about AAA's commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and career opportunities, visit that's the Mariners make the playoffs for the first time in 21 years seem like a great time to welcome another former Seattle professional athlete's name is Jesse Bradley first time on the show with a goalie for the sounders but also played professional soccer in other parts of the world and has a passion and a drive and energy that will get you hooked and engaged it right away just a couple of conversations with him. I can't wait to hear how he does as the radio stars are Jesse welcome to the show in Seattle. This is obviously a huge week with the Mariners back in the postseason phase are going crazy you're there.

What's it been like in the midst of this Mariners fever. We are celebrating. There's some euphoria going on when you wait for something productive and it finally happens every people are going crazy and I know season-ticket holders didn't celebrate you know the magic number was down by 4321 they would not celebrate until they clinched because sometimes as little trouble you do hasn't made the playoffs we gone to a lot of games you know my kids there always some fun kettle corn summer relaxing retractable roof. There's a lot of things, but now there's actually a team it's raining during the playoffs with momentum and I like to use towards the platform metaphor for life and I like to say.

Looking back at the Mariners 2001 and 116 games, the most ever.

That was the high point people still talk about the glory days and then there's the dirge of all the years without playoffs and the Mariners needed a new song, and sometimes in our lives, we can't live in the past and the glory days. The pastor even in the disappointing days but we need a new song in the Mariners have given fresh hope to the city and there's a buzz right now.

And hopefully we get some success love CMA could be brought in the playoffs. There some great players on the team but everyone's enjoying it is been a long time. Does that help then extend to fans believing that they can be a contender for the World Series or are they satisfied with being nominated quote unquote that is bucket with making the playoffs.

That's right, they are so thrilled sometimes when you meet a goal and you feel like you lead and set the goal to win the World Series this year and so there's less pressure on them in in sports pressures huge and how you manage pressure and I think they're playing freely their enjoyment. You see the bond they have no great teams have an awesome culture in the locker room and with the Mariners. They built that up. And so it's really a both and I think they built it with the foundation it's glass, Julio Rodriguez, 20 home runs right root of your candidate. They've got talent and got some starting pitching that I think they can be around for a while and they know it, so they're not complacent, but there also not nervous and they don't look uptight so I think there set up well whatever experience they get this year's can be valuable in the years to come. So fans are shifting and next year I don't think making the playoffs is going to bring the same excitement will be a lot more expected and I think they got a chance this year's version of faith. The Blue Jays is good be a great matchup that Siri starting off on Friday to actually at 107 Seattle time as you mentioned, it's in Toronto so I can imagine the be a lot of people are either ducking out of work early or if they have to work will be listening or following the Mariners club on the down low.

I Jesse you you are former pro athlete will talk about your career. What are the secrets to building chemistry in a locker room in our clubhouse. As you point out, it can mean intangible that can take time to build it. Absolutely. Winning builds a bond in winning build friendships and everyone's happy.

When you're winning, but the key is to have those relationships before the winning comes. I've always felt like the best teams I played on the most successful teams is felt like family and we just like spending time together in whether it's cards on the back of the bus is getting a meal together to talk about life together, you get to know everyone's personalities and when you can. You know who to joke with you know who to jab and you know to bring out the best in one another on the great teams you're thinking we more than me and you look around and you start to know where someone likes the ball. You know the runner to make and you set them up for success. You bring out the best in each other. It gets contagious, and suddenly people are using their gifts and their they've never been plaintiff such a high level and then someone else starts to do that and pretty soon again, it becomes contagious so the best teams have the best cultures.

It starts with leadership.

It's the coaches then is the captain of the team and truly a you drop the selfishness. You're not thinking about stats and awards and you're not thinking about money or your next contract you're focused on this group and you're willing to sacrifice make some personal sacrifices go the extra mile. I mean there's just a culture on winning teams that you show up early and you stay late because you're doing the small things well my Scottish coach used to say it's the wee things the little things and insight of the way you do the little things the way you do everything you do the little things right. You get the big results in championship teams.

They understand that they do the little things well and everyone's committed to it. You can't have silos, you can't have division you've gotta be on the same page you got have buy-in.

It's always starts with great leadership all my goodness that works in every locker room. Jesse Bradley is a former professional goalkeeper in the US in Scotland in Zimbabwe were so pleased to connect with them here on after hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS sports radio so Jesse, we know that Seattle sports fans are excited about the Mariners. There also extremely passionate about their sounders and you spent time there. You got a big event coming up that brings people together for faith and family.

What about that culture with the sounders. Why do people buy into it and why is it so successful there. Seattle the soccer city and you see that at all ages. I have four kids are all playing soccer University of Washington the right number one in the nation. And I'm good friends with the coach. It's great to see players developed at every level and in the sounders have been so strong. Sounders won the CONCACAF title this year and for those of you who don't follow soccer is closely as the champions of the MLS. The league in America in the champions in Mexico and they come together in a tournament in American teams of never one that this right first time that everyone in championship and so the sounders are celebrating that this year but really it's representative of American professional soccer now so much better than it's ever been. The quality of the players just keeps raising that fans there's 33,000 fans on average they come due again for the sounders and its electric they're saying in its incredible atmosphere. Even if you don't understand the intricacies of the game when you're in that stadium. You just don't forget it in the sounders have been consistent.

They won again. MLS titles to MLS titles they want. Other cups they have a tradition of excellence and the city in any time someone does something with excellence like let's say you don't enjoy the symphony that much, but if you go and you see the dedication of the excellence value can appreciate that and people come to the game see that in the constant singing and in the movement. The dancing it's like it's a place you just want to be and the sounders of carryback faith and family. We had one before coded and then we had to wait a while for groups to gather but this year it's back on and so this next game is coming up Freddie Montero's the all-time leading scorer for the sounders use. Also, in addition to MLS All-Star one humanitarian awards and so he and I long conversation talk about her life, her journey, our challenges, our faith, and that's part of the date faith and family. You know I love it that so many pro sports teams really see that for their athletes. It's holistic and a lot of teams of chaplains. Sometimes you see prayer before game meant when someone gets injured in all of us.

We have intellectual we have social, relational, we have physical we also have spiritual and I think faith and family is a celebration that we are spiritual beings this important part of our lives.

And I'm so grateful to the sounders partner with us and we do encourage people in this part of their lives, except it's more recent as a development with pro sports teams that they are paying attention to not just physical health but mental health, emotional health, as you point out, spiritual health is so important. I athletes just like any other human being in any walk of life, they tend to thrive when all of those various parts of us are healthy and working together. It's not just about having a physical body that is talented. It's about having a mind and a heart and your emotions that are also locked in and you can see how teams are starting to understand that because they're spending millions and millions of dollars to make sure that their athletes are cared for in other ways. Yes, that's so well said cared for is the key that it's not just someone who performs well on a field, but your caring about the whole person you know I played college in the Ivy League at Dartmouth and I configure my own life since I was doing so well. Our team on the Ivy League championship by personal awards knows at a great school and I couldn't figure out what was missing on the inside and then I took a class introduction world religions and I never even thought God existed. I come from a family: Baskin-Robbins 31 flavors listeners you know that was spiritual listeners see just portraitist will be a wide range and we want to respect each other so for me in my journey. I discovered later in life, and the professor assigned by what I but Jesus, I was blown away. I was like wow it never heard this, and I start a relationship with God. But what happened is from the inside out is that I'm not performance-based identity does not lose pressure on me.

I'm love and there's a security there in similar sport psychology. Why did teams bring them in because mental health is so important when you care for people you can bring out the best in people. That's true in every work environment is true in sports, and when you can provide where an employer can provide the resources someone wants to develop and grow in different areas of their life like that person is going to thrive and when you're held in the insiders would be an overflow on the outside and that that's so valuable there's so much pressure on kids right now. They should be enjoying sports, but instead sometimes the parents. I joke that if you as my kids really plan soccer teams and sometimes their parents that are really over-the-top and sometimes unkempt to be that way had your camera caught the parents cam if you could show the sidelines and what that yelling at this refuse 13 years old and Mike just got a rough life of their dislike person about if they had to show that on social media and expand your page. It would be embarrassing like whatever position you get yelled at like that, but sometimes in sports, we just go we get out of control, and if the parents are to control the pressure for the kids at home is intense, and then suddenly the not enjoying it as much and so again were talk about culture.

In this interview, but changing the culture where it's it's different and it isn't the pressure performance-based, but it's about developing people. It's about relationships and when it's healthy at a young age.

You know so often the kids that are going to excel, to play the sport longer than I can get burned out and really sports in our culture, sometimes sports dominates, and it becomes the number one and I don't think sports is ever been designed to be the number one in life and when you elevate that high and I know because the goalkeeper up with that pressure myself.

You start to lose the joy, the sport, but when it's in its right spot and you've got other things that are above it, then you actually you're at your best because you know we saw this with the men's national team.

I think against Japan recently is that they just doing cups, they look stiff and in sports to get too much pressure on you white knuckle it. Do not play your best, so haven't sports in its proper place. Caring for the whole individual. That's really good to develop a kind athletes going to be long term and then they can pour back in the younger athletes and now you've got a consistency where it's healthy and we need that in sports, we really do.

And the more athletes high profile athletes who are willing to speak out about their challenges in mental health or that they needed time to recover from something that happened in their families or personally to them away from the field, the court, the ice, the more people will be willing to speak out and recognize that it's okay to very real part of being a human.

Forget being an athlete were spending time with Jesse Bradley was a former professional soccer goalkeeper and E plate for the sounders but also played in other parts of the world where soccer is King Jesse why think it is that in the United States we lag behind when it comes to our passion for what people call the beautiful game you know such a good question. If you do a great job in studio sports radio. I mean, I did that jingle of his despair with a muted regular jingoism I had enough of you with today and talk about this stuff. The topics you bring up are so rich like you just talk about mental health and for athletes go to be transparent, I played in Africa. My career ended tragically took a prescribed medication to prevent malaria and it was the end of my career is fighting for my life for one year, 10 years to fully recover in the heart of the side effects course are the physical side effects. But you know what caused panic attacks in waves of depression is an athlete. I never knew how to deal with those things I never knew how to let people in. In overcoming that in re-storing, rebuilding my life in my mental health. There was a lot better in the recovery and I won't get into all that, but again that transparency that letting people in learning those skills.

I was excelling on the field, but I didn't know in between my ears, how to work through things so I appreciate that reminder that we can be vulnerable in that lot comes as no healing until the revealing and so Windows that transparency, then we can learn in some new coping skills like that.

I never have before. And you know my expense overseas in Zimbabwe and Scotland. Soccer is clearly number one sport. Your kind of question around the world. The world comes coming out, there's an estimated audience of 5 billion people noble sporting event becomes close and so in America we have great options and mean there's 567 sports kids are choosing from soccer is one of many but in other countries soccer's number one there's no close second. It's not close at all in America is making some great steps forward. I've thought in our country. Soccer will really take off when the professional league is outstanding and I like I said earlier, the MLS is developed so much further than what it used to be because young kids need to see that picture and the need to go to the stadium and see the excitement in the high-caliber play. So that's happening.

Soccer takes off in a country where the kids are playing in the streets. Now there's a lot of you soccer in our country. But when kids are playing in the backyard when their plan in the streets are playing in the grass of the park sender's duty because they love the game. That's a hint that is taken off another one is great coaching. You can't have a top sport in the nation without phenomenal coaches and that's something that were seeing continually improved in the US and you know one bit of evidence that I would say is that when I go to soccer games now people clap in the appreciate the intricacies and the details of the game like there soccer intelligence and are picking up on it and I think for Americans were used a lot of physical contact, and sometimes violent love occlusions soccer doesn't have as many as mother sports are Americans who love goals and it's like soccer does not sour so I think you know that's the stumbling block and embracing the sport but okay once you know the sport you see the beauty of it and you see around the world. That's why if you have a chance watch the World Cup, you know. Tune into an MLS game and talk to some people who know the sport is once you pick up on that. Then I just seen so many people say soccer is not for me and now they're like I love watching the early Saturday morning watching English Premier league and it it's it's a phenomenal sport.

It's one that you don't need a lot of money. You don't need a lot of equipment that's what's so popular in many countries as well yeah and then there's a lot of running is great for kids and obviously I mean it's been a huge part of my life. So it's a passion but I really think that America is appreciating the world cups, and for years it's going to be amazing and would build up to it so the US team does well this year. No pressure.

What I'm telling you that's could be a game changer in America after hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS sports radio were spending a few minutes with former Seattle sounders goalie and professional goalie all over the world.

Jesse Bradley and Jesse were just talking about the World Cup and how important it is for team USA to do well to continue to grow the sport here in the United States. It's already the beautiful game. It's already the most popular sport by far around the rest of the world and for some reason we lag behind. As a yes very important for the Americans to succeed in November and I'm hoping a brooding because I feel like it's a team that we can all get behind. Now I one of the things that I have recognize about former athletes and you shared a little bit of your story with us that your career ended abruptly and that you had it taken away from you when you still thought you had many years to give one thing that I hear over and over from former pro athlete is how difficult the transition to go from playing a sport and being in that world and that culture to then finding a new purpose for their lives.

You sound like a very passionate guy a lot of energy, a lot of drive.

So at this point what drives you you're done playing soccer you've recovered physically what you pour your energy into thank you so much.

You know the women have been phenomenal in the US they set the bar high. Now the man let's go guy let's get there.

Let's get there. You know what I discovered in my recovery is that there's a whole grade of their challenges.

I learned that my identity can't be performance-based. What I do is not who I am and then my faith grew. Now my pastor speaker. Now it's my joy to spread hope to really hundreds of millions of people around the world and its I never saw coming. Ending sports is brutal. I missed the locker room miss the guys missed you of the competition stadium you never you have that exact same thing for a lot of athletes it takes time. It took me time to discover what's next.

But I love giving back the community.

I love connecting a wide range of people.

I love it in our church people from all nations and cultures and ethnicities in a little place like Seattle or people ask the hard questions about faith because that was me. I had hundreds of questions I want to kick the tires and find out what's going on so I love those conversations and you know, we continue to provide content hope is a new website where were bringing that content for people who might be struggling in their marriage are struggling to find hope it's all free, and we just want to be there for people people on the phones. That's what they are meeting with her at and we want to provide the content answer the questions or least have the discussions that relevant for people today. I know that you have your faith and family night coming up.

You mention your website and also you told me previously that you are attempting to bring awareness and resources for clean water in Africa so I guess my last question would be how to have time to juggle all of the things Jesse with four kids, no kidding, you know, passion drives me. I think fire is more important form like our family of four kids one is adopted. I'd love to see no foster care system. America loves the every kid in a forever family.

You mention our initiative with clean water, we can have clean water for everyone by 2030 and $50 brings clean water for a child for the rest of your lives.

I love bigger picture goals were takes everyone to rally and Jeff up in this to see some And you know I wake up every day. Seattle's coffee everywhere, but I'm just fulfilling fully alive or without cause. They like you find the pain in my life has forged and fueled a passion and a purpose that I didn't even know before that and I think that if you're going to a setback right now just listen to what can be redeeming what you're learning and how you can make a difference in someone else's life going through that same thing in more than laws are more than a politician more than too much pressure on the government like we all need to step up and love our neighbors discover what her talents are just come alive like to live that vibrant life it it doesn't have to be compartmentalized. We all have struggles we all need each other and I'd say like we need God to we need love from towards ourselves from other people and from God. When you receive that love then you filled out and then you got something to give. And that's when life gets excited.

Love God and love people. It sounds so simple and yet it really isn't that you can find Jesse on Twitter at Jesse J.

Bradley and you can also check out his website for a lot of these various resources I Jesse and promised he will have you on the show again. Maybe you could be our World Cup correspondent. Once the US launches forward.

It's been so great to talk to you and I feel like we can do that for a long time. I loved it. Yeah, and I would do it anytime.

Let's talk more soccer hopefully you get a lot of emails and comments about yes. Finally, some soccer lids. Let's dive in more but Amy, thank you for all you do. Even consistent you keep a lot of people encouraged and inspired at a time of the day were not a lot of people are there.

So just keep you know spread met hope and thank you for your faithfulness in in your role because that inspires people and their role in their work as well. AAA diversity, equity and inclusion are more than commitments. There absolutely vital to our continued success. That's why we're always looking for talented and ambitious people who share our values and mission to provide excellent service and we're committed to providing opportunities for continued career growth. To learn more about AAA's commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and career opportunities, visit that's