Hailing from Winchester, Virginia, Devon McTavish grew up watching DC United play soccer, and has early memories of his Dad getting lost in the twisted DC streets near the White House. So if any DC United player loves DC, it would be Devon, our quasi-hometown boy. He and I grabbed drinks at Whitlows, and I grilled him on his favorite places around DC, his toughest game this season, and what he does in the community.
Katie: What’s your earliest DC memory?
Devon: When I was about 4 or 5 I came into the city and saw all the museums and the Smithsonian and stuff. My parents brought me. I also remember seeing the White House when my Dad got lost driving around DC.
What’s your favorite place in DC?
Jefferson Memorial. I need to find a better, more hidden place, but Jefferson. You can go out there, watch the sunset, you get the view.
U Street. I used to live in Capitol Hill for six months but U Street is more real, you know?
What would you change about DC if you could?
The streets, the traffic patterns.
So there’s been a big kerfluffle about the DC United stadium, in your ideal world, where would it be?
Ideally, in the parking lot of the old convention center. Right in the middle of DC, Metro accessible. Or in the parking lot of RFK.
What about Arlington, there have been a lot of people saying Arlington would be a great place?
Yeah, lots of people in a condensed location, young people, that’s good for the sport. You know that wasteland in Crystal City near Reagan? That would be cool.
If you could eat your final meal only from DC restaurants, what would it consist of?
I’ve got a pretty short-term memory, so I don’t really pick favorites, but um… those fries from Teatro. Right on K across from Peacock Grand? They have fries dipped in truffle oil. Those. And mussels from Brassierie Beck, with a hamburger from 1905. They have the best burger.
You know that Italian place on 14th and U? Al Crustino? Their tirimisu. And I don’t know what to drink, water, I guess? Wait, no! Sweet tea! That’s what I’d have.
You wind up doing a lot of community activities, what have been your favorites?
Last week, my 7th grade teacher, who I’ve kept in touch with, I went down to his school to meet this kid with Crohn’s Disease. We had dinner with him, the teacher and his friend. Also, Ben Olsen and I went to the White House Easter Egg Roll and played soccer with some kids and read under the reading tree. We didn’t get to meet Obama though.
Toughest game of the season?
I hit my head during the first game of the season and got a concussion. I think the Washington Post has a picture, I ran into this other guy from our team. There was blood all down my face.
Like a zombie?
Toughest upcoming game?
I’d get in trouble if I didn’t say the next game. So New England at New England.
How does the fan atmosphere affect the team?
It’s great. We have the best fans in the league.
You’re not just saying that?
No, seriously, we really do.
What are your pregame rituals?
Rest and relaxation. I take a nap, eat chicken and pasta, kinda bland, and channel surf.
How do you deal with the stress of penalty kick situations?
Who wrote your questions?
All my guy friends, like I said, I know nothing about soccer, just everything about DC. Okay, so fine. My follow-up question to that is supposed to be if you ever got hit in the junk when you’re part of the moving wall.
(Laughs) No. Is that really a question? Is that the best your friends could come up with? Your “readers” want to know?
Do you have any better questions that you want to ask yourself?
I mean, not that you should ask this, but stuff like “what is are your major career highlights”. I mean, come on.
Okay fine. (Laughs) How about this – any particular players you admire?
Ben Olsen. I watched him growing up, so it’s pretty cool to play with him.
Watch Devon McTavish play, alongside Ben Olsen, for the DC United this Thursday at 7:30 p.m. against the New York Red Bulls on ESPN2.