As quick as Duran Lee arrived at FC Edmonton, it seemed he was already repacking his things to leave.
FCE’s new defender hardly settled in before the city went into lockdown in March, and he has since returned to his hometown of Toronto as he waits for soccer to return, along with the rest of us.
The 25-year-old made his way west from HFX Wanderers FC this winter in hopes of using his left-foot to solidify the Eddies left back position.
But for now his debut with FC Edmonton has been put on hold.
With this in mind, we took the opportunity to chat with the defender, and ask him a few questions in order to get to know him a little better.
NICKNAME: Everyone just calls me ‘Lee.’ I guess it’s just easier to say.
WHAT’S YOUR NUMBER AND WHY DO YOU WEAR IT?: Twenty three. I wear that because that was my first (rec-league) number I wore when I was a kid. I’m a huge fan of LeBron James so I just roll with that.
PREGAME ROUTINE: It varies, but usually I just try to focus on the game; I don’t really listen to any music until maybe an hour before. I just focus on myself and that’s pretty much it. I don’t do anything too crazy or have a special routine. I always eat pasta with no sauce on gamedays, too.
PREGAME PLAYLIST: Burna Boy. Always Burna Boy. From top to bottom it’s Burna Boy.
FAVOURITE SOCCER TEAM: Chelsea. I went there when I was about 12 or 13-years-old, so I think from there I took a huge love for it because that was my first time ever in Europe. They’re one of the biggest teams in the world so from there I just grew up loving them. Even if they play at 7:30 in the morning here I’m up watching the game.
FAVOURITE SOCCER PLAYERS: Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, and David Alaba. For Sergio Ramos it’s because his technique is really good playing centre back. I’m not as acrobatic as him, of course, but I try to match the way he passes the ball and controls it. With Marcelo and David Alaba, they both play left back, which I tell people is my main position, so I try to replicate their style even though they’re both different and incorporate it into one way of play.
WHAT’S THE MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT OF YOUR SOCCER CAREER SO FAR?: It was when I went to Chelsea. It was the weekend Chelsea and Liverpool played each other but we couldn’t get tickets so we watched, I think it was Fulham and Man City, way back then at Craven Cottage.
JOB OTHER THAN SOCCER PLAYER?: Basketball. I played point guard growing up because I wasn’t tall enough to play the other positions. I did football, basketball, and soccer. I dropped out of football really fast because I couldn’t take the contact, and then I did basketball for a little bit. My mom made me make a decision between soccer and basketball because it was clashing too much. So it was ironic because I was enjoying basketball but then made the decision to play soccer.
IF YOU COULD HAVE DINNER WITH ANYONE, DEAD OR ALIVE, WHO WOULD IT BE?: My uncle. I’m the oldest out of the siblings so I don’t have an older brother. We’re both very immature people, and (my uncle is) like nine years older than me but even then I’m more mature than him sometimes. But I think over the years with us hanging out all the time, we made jokes and if soccer wasn’t going well I could talk to him and he would make all these jokes and kind of clear my head.
The one time we did go for dinner together was the last time I saw him before he passed away. For me he was like a superhero and a role-model, he could do everything. He had so many tragic accidents but he always came out on top. I think he’s the most genuine person I’ve ever met. Definitely him.
HOW DO YOU SPEND YOUR OFF DAYS?: People won’t believe me, but I just like to stay home and relax. I focus a lot on my body because the older you get the more the aches and pains come in. My friends think I’m always out and about trying to see the city, but no. I like to stay at home and play with my dog, Lucks. My uncle’s nickname was Lucks so we named him after him. He’s a Maltese and Yorkie mixed breed, a little guy, he’s crazy though, he needs to relax.
FAVOURITE TV SHOW: The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. For me it doesn’t matter how old it gets, I’ll always watch it. I always go back to that.
FAVOURITE MOVIES: Lone Survivor, The Imitation Game, Focus, Concussion, and Glory Road.
FAVOURITE JUNK FOOD: Strawberry cheesecake. Oh my gosh I kill that. If the coach finds out how much strawberry cheesecake I eat he might have a few problems. It’s an addiction of mine that started a couple years ago, it hasn’t been a thing my whole life. I love strawberries so I also love strawberry short cake, I can gain a couple pounds eating that.