Interview with USA Head Coach Charles Tuss
By Yann Maillet (Roller Hockey And Fun)
A few hours before the start of the FIRS World Championships in Roccaraso, Charles Thuss, head coach of Team USA, gave us a brief interview. He returned as head coach after the team’s victory last year and logically confirmed that this year’s Team USA did not come for anything other than gold. Though, he believes that France still has a dangerous team, capable of great things.
Yann Maillet: First, could you introduce yourself to our readers. Who are you, where are you from and what is your history as a hockey player?
Charles Tuss: “My name is Charles Thuss. I live in Mobile, Alabama and I played NCAA college hockey at Miami University in Ohio before playing eight years of pro hockey. I also was an assistant coach for 2 years in pro hockey.”
YM: Why and when did you become head coach of Team USA?
CT: “I was asked last year before the World Championships in the Czech Republic to be the head coach for team USA and am honored to be in this position.”
YM: What kind of memories do you have about the 2010 World Championships?
CT: “It was a great experience. Playing against so many great countries and being able to coach at such a high level was a true honor. Winning the gold medal was the highlight of the trip for sure, and was made even more special having to beat so many great teams to achieve that.”
YM: Team USA is not exactly the same this year. What about those new faces on the team, and what about the fact that Cadiz and Larrichia won’t be playing this year?
CT: “Our team has a bit of a different look this year and both Cadiz and Larrichia will be missed. They are great people and great players and both played big roles in our achievements last year. We feel confident the players that will replace Cadiz and Larrichia, will be able to step in and do a great job as well and will be valuable members of this team.”
YM: It’s a silly question, apologies, but I guess you only come for the gold in Roccaraso…
CT: “Our goal, like most countries, is to win gold yes, and we will do our very best to achieve that goal…”
YM: Did the win of France against USA last year helped your team to become stronger in the rest of the tournament? Did it boost the team’s performance?
CT: “France had a great team last year and I am sure they will have another great team this year. It was a motivating factor for us for sure and it told us this would not be an easy tournament, that we need to be the best team on the floor every game we play.”
YM: Team France will present a new face too with four new players, a goalie and three players. What do you expect of Team France this season?
CT: “I expect them to be very good again. I am sure they will be very fast, and strong defensively and in goal. They will be a great competitor and we will have to play our best game if we want to win.”
YM: I’ve been told that you were a goalie before. In your opinion, what does a guy need to be a great inline goalie? And at the moment, who is the best in the world?
CT: “Yes, I am an ex-goalie. To be a great inline goalie you need to be patient and be able to move well. The best in the world is a tough question as there are so many good goalie and I know this year will be the same.”
YM: Did you see the IIHF final? If so, what about the Czech victory against your country?
CT: “I was not able to see the IIHF final, but I know the Czech Republic had a great team and I expect they will play very well at these World Championships. They deserve a lot of credit for playing so well and winning gold.”