Name, age, profession, where are you from and where do you live now.

Alexi Lalas, 35, President and General Manager - MetroStars, from Detroit, Michigan, live in NYC currently.

You recently moved to New York, but this isn't your first time living in the area. You were previously on the MetroStars in 1998 and went to Rutgers, what are your thoughts of the city then and now?
In the late 80's I was at Rutgers, in the late 90's I was in Hoboken and now I'm in New York City. It's hard to say anything new about New York that hasn't been said. New York is a city that is alive, as such, it responds to all the sensations of life, the good and the bad ones.

As the new general manager of the MetroStars, you come from winning a MLS Championship with the San Jose Earthquakes to a team that has never made it to the championship game. What do you plan on doing to change this trend?
This is an area that expects positive results from their professional sports teams. The MetroStars have to start winning on a constant basis in order to appeal to people. It's hard enough to get people to come out and watch soccer, we don't want the additional burden of having a mediocre team.

The MetroStars are playing in one of the largest metropolitan areas, but attendance is lacking. Do you feel that the MetroStars are drawing enough of an audience in New York or is the team's poor record the primary reason for the low attendance figures?
We have incredible competition in this area for entertainment dollars. This is a work-in-progress and each year we create more fans of MetroStars soccer. Of course we want more, but sometimes we are so quick to kick ourselves that we forget to take a step back and look at al the good we've done. We are finishing up our 10th year and many thought this would never last. We have expansion, new stadiums and elite players involved in a league that continues to get stronger. The MetroStars will continue to improve on and off the field and I hope folks with come along for the ride.

How do you think the plan for a stadium in Harrison, NJ will affect the team? Were there ever thoughts of building a stadium in NYC? And is the team tired of playing on artificial turf?
The Stadium in Harrison, NJ will be ready in 2007 and will provide our fans with the perfect soccer environment. It will hold 25 thousand and be a destination. But it's up to us to make sure that we put a quality product in the new stadium and give the fans a successful and entertaining team to cheer. The concept of building a stadium in NYC is nothing new, but the business and social realities of a project like this make it very difficult to see something being down. Artificial turf is not ideal, but it's a whole lot better that the Astroturf we grew up playing on, which was basically concrete painted green. It will be nice to move to Harrison and be back on soft green grass, nothing better!

With USA Soccer's victory over Mexico, they clinched a berth to the 2006 World Cup. Bruce Arena said, "this team right now isn't good enough to be a factor in the World Cup," what do you think the chances are?
I think that we will show up next summer with the best collection of American soccer players ever assembled, and one that could legitimately contend for the Cup. Having said that, a bad bounce, a bad group or simple bad luck and you can find yourself heading home.

You are one of the most popular players in USA Soccer history and might be credited for popularizing soccer in the United States, what US player today do you think can carry soccer to the next level (as popular as football, basketball, baseball, etc)? Is that even possible?
Our players are the most accessible and intelligent athletes around. They recognize that their job is much more than the 90 minutes they spend on the field. Being the promoters, ambassadors for the game is something that you do 24/7 and it is what is going to enable use to survive and thrive as a pro sport. But we also need our players to continue to recognize the entertainment aspect of our business. The best players in many sports are the ones who establish a connection with the fans. You want to see what they will do next and you feel that.

How do you feel the skill level of the MLS compares to that of other professional leagues around the world? Do you think there be a point where MLS is considered professional soccer's premier soccer league? If so, when. If not, why not?
I truly believe that we are producing players and teams that can compete with the best in the world. It's hard for folks to realize assess that quality without being influenced by the American sports culture. When you sit down and look at the soccer you have to be able to ignore the small crowds, football lines, payer salaries and lack of soccer history. It's hard to do, but what you are left with is some great players playing a very high level of soccer.

For those that have never attended a MetroStars game, give the readers three reasons why they should come out to a game.
MetroGirls, beer and hot guys in shorts. There has to be something for everyone in those three things.

We're often pressured to get a haircut, what do you miss most about the flowing locks and goatee?
To be honest, it was a lot of work. Hot oil treatments, split ends and major conditioning routines get old after a while. Although banging my head to a Ratt song doesn't real look so cool anymore.

What's your favorite subway line?
Every morning, A train from Columbus Circle to Port Authority and then NJ Transit bus to Secaucus!

What place would you declare a landmark?
The bar at the Essex House in NYC, you can lose time in there, and they make one of the best burgers around.

What advice, if any, would you give to Mayor Bloomberg?
Let's see...how about A/C in the subway stations? I realize we're underground, but it shouldn't feel like we in Hades.

When you just need to get away from it all, where is your favorite place in NYC to be alone?
Who the hell comes to NYC to be alone?

The MetroStars have two remaining home games. This Saturday against the New England Revolution and October 1st against DC United. Buy tickets here for MetroGirls, beer, and guys in shorts.