Norwegian striker Mads Stokkelien could not have asked for a better start with the Cosmos. He scored in his debut and created the lone goal in a 1-0 win at FC Edmonton last week. He is expected to start against the San Antonio Scorpions at Shuart Stadium at 7 p.m. Saturday.
You want to become a dentist?
I have been studying dentistry for almost two years. I had to put the studies on hold to come here. It has always been between becoming a dentist or a doctor. My father is a dentist. When I'm done playing soccer, I'm going to be a dentist. I want to play soccer as long as possible. I want to have a good education when I'm done. I've seen my father as a dentist. He likes it. I can move my focus from my feet to my hands. It's a safe job because you always need dentists.
How did you find out about the Cosmos?
It's quite a funny story, actually. I was studying for my final exam in January. It was a huge exam. I had been reading for weeks and weeks. Two or three days before my exam, I needed to have full focus before my exam. But then I think it was Alecko who called me and said, "Hey, do you want to play for the Cosmos?'' I was like, "Wow, yeah, absolutely.'' He said he had been watching some videos of my matches last year and that he liked what he had seen.
Your name is a headline writer's dream.
It's funny when I came over here and I say my name, Mads. Everybody says 'Mads?' It's a funny name over here. It's a completely normal name in Norway.
Who was your inspiration as a player?
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. I followed him when I was little. He also was a striker. He played for a second division club in Norway. He ended up in Manchester United. A legend in Manchester United. I met him when I was 7 years old. He's a great person, great player, great finisher. I learned a lot from him.
How did you get into soccer?
Soccer is a big thing in Norway. I started playing when I was 4 or 5. My older brother was a good goalkeeper, so I had a lot of hours shooting at him. It was perfect. When you're a child, everybody wants to be a striker.
What is your most memorable goal?
My first professional goal for my hometown club [IK Start] was my best memory in Norway. Actually, Hunter Freeman gave me the assist. It was my second game. Everybody wants to play for their local club. This game was [on] May 16 . That is like the biggest day of soccer in Norway. It was a great way to score my first goal. We were down 1-0 and I scored in the last minute.