Getting to know...Matt Braem

by Pete Richmire

TACOMA, WA. -We know you love to cheer for the Stars on the field but now, we want you to get to know the players you cheer for! Every week we will spotlight a different Tacoma Stars player and highlight them here. In our sights for this week is a five-year MASL veteran and new Tacoma Star, Matt Braem!

Q: Let's start with a fun one. You are from France and are qualified to answer this. No consequences for your answer, of course! How are Nick Perera's French language abilities?

A: It kills me to say it, but his French might be better than mine at this point because I haven't been home in 5 years. The accent however needs a little bit of polishing

Q: You've done quite a bit of youth clinics. What do you enjoy the most about coaching?

A: Giving back to the kids and sharing my knowledge of the game is what I truly enjoy when coaching youth soccer. There is nothing more fulfilling than seeing a kid getting better while enjoying their time on the pitch

Q: What's with French Toast and French Fries? They aren't French, are they?

A: I actually never had French Toast before coming to the U.S.! Definitely not French but what a shame! French Fries originate from the French side of Belgium I believe, so we will definitely take ownership of that one! 

Q: This is your fifth season in the MASL, joining the Stars after four seasons with Harrisburg. What has been your greatest memory so far in the League?

A: The easy answer would be my first goal in the league. It was a special moment and a great finish for a defender who doesn't score that often. The most meaningful one would be last season when my Dad was finally able to come to visit and watch me play live after countless late nights streaming games on YouTube/Twitch. It was a special moment for me because I wouldn't be where I am today without his teaching and support. 

Q: You joined the La Havre Athletic Club at 12 years old. When did you learn that soccer was serious and not a hobby for you?

A: Since I was a kid, I knew that playing soccer was what I wanted to do. My parents and I made countless sacrifices to allow me to play for the best teams and coaches in my region no matter what it took. When I had the opportunity to move across the country to attend the HAC academy, it was a no-brainer

Q: What is your favorite thing about the Northwest so far?

A: On my way to Seattle, I was lucky to spend a couple of days at Glacier National Park and it is hard to describe the overwhelming beauty of it. I am also excited and impatient to check out Rainier and Olympia as well. 

Q: 1-10 scale. How is your goal celebration?

A: -5. I have a lot of work to do on that end! 

Q: As we enter the Holiday Season, what is your favorite Christmas movie?

A: I have to go with Home Alone. Can't go wrong with that one! 

Q: As a defender, who has the hardest shot you've had to block in the MASL?

A: Moises Gonzalez who played for Utica City and Baltimore Blasts. I have had a few bruises and an actual concussion from blocking his shots. 

Q: What is one thing that would surprise fans about Matt Braem?

A: While at Le Havre, I played with Paul Pogba, Riyad Mahrez, & Benjamin Mendy to only name a few.