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Behind the Shot: Robert Kristo

This is the first installment of a new feature on NCFCShots.com called "Behind the Shot" in which I interview a NCFC player about a specific photo taken this past season as well as ask a few other questions to get to know them better.

I hope you enjoy this interview with NCFC forward, Robert Kristo.

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In this interview I talk with Robert Kristo about this photo (below) taken in the 2nd half of the North Carolina FC vs Birmingham Legion game on August 15th, 2020 at Wake Med Soccer Park in Cary, NC.

Robert Kristo,  Forward and number 11 for North Carolina FC of the USL Championship League <br />
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Photography ©Gregory Ng for NCFCShots.com. Follow on instagram at @FollowGregSports.<br />
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This site is not affiliated with North Carolina Football Club

What do you remember about this particular play?

Honestly, I just remember being pulled back a couple of times during that game.

You clearly beat him (Marcos Ugarte) on this play but he eventually pulled you down by grabbing your shirt. During these types of plays do you feel the shirt tug?

You always feel something, it's a defender's way of trying to catch you off balance.

If I recall correctly, this play didn’t yield a call. This looks like a clear foul to me but there is a lot of gray area when it comes to plays like this. Did the ref get it right?

Nah, it's the nature of the game. I'm a big guy— this is a regular thing for me.

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What boots are you wearing in this photo? If a company made a “Kristo” what would it look like?

My adidas X's are probably my favorite boot I have ever played in, especially because they are laceless. A "Kristo" would look pretty similar to those but maybe a bright color.

View the Adidas X cleats on Soccer.com

At 6’5” your height is a big asset during crosses and corner kicks. What type of training do you do to anticipate crosses, muscle your opponent, and get a head on the ball?

Honestly, most of it is just using my body to my advantage. I work on movement and ball anticipation.

Were you tall as a kid?

I grew 6 inches in 6th grade and was around 6 ft tall so yeah.

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What do you remember about your first soccer game ever as a kid?

Don’t remember my very first game as a kid to be honest it was a long time ago, but I remember my first professional start in Andria, Italy and I scored on my debut! 8,000 hooligans chanting "Kristo!"

You went to Saint Louis University: explain what a Billiken means to you. What’s it like playing again for Mike McGinty (current NCFC assistant coach and former head coach of Saint Louis University)?

My career as a Billiken means the most to me because that is where I come from, where I grew up, whereI  had great success, and it was all thanks to McGinty. He is somewhat of a father figure to me, sinceI  have known him since i was 15.

You grew up in Saint Louis and played in Italy: is Ted Drewes frozen custard better than gelato?

Ooo thats a tough call butI  have to say "no". Gelato is top shelf stuff.

What's your favorite gelato flavor?


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"Nobody looks back into their past and says I did too much. The problem everyone has when they grow up is they say I wish I did more"

Tell me more about the private coaching lessons that you are now offering for Triangle youth players.

In the Triangle there are so many kids that play soccer and some just don't get the opportunity to develop individually due to so many numbers and so little coaches around. With my professional background I want to help take time for these kids and help them get to the next level. If interested, the best way to get started is to visit my website: RKristo11.com

What’s the one piece of advice you have for our local NCFC youth players who have dreams to play professionally?

Set a goal, and over-achieve to complete that goal. Nobody looks back into their past and says I did too much. The problem everyone has when they grow up is they say "I wish I did more" and that's where I come into play.

Ok, now for a few rapid fire questions:

When you play FIFA, what team do you play as most often?

I play as Liverpool or Bayern, I like fast wingers who can beat a guy and cross to the target man.

You list “Running Scared” as your favorite movie. Is it the Paul Walker one from 2006 or the Billy Crystal one from the 80’s? What is it about the movie you like?

Paul Walker was my favorite actor, and there is so much in the movie that keeps you guessing, lots of excitement and action.

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In the beginning of quarantine I saw you got a pool table/ping pong/air hockey table. Which game are you the best at? If you could play any celebrity at that game who would it be and why?

Ping Pong by far. I had at table growing up and it was played all the time, and of course Zlatan would be the guy I would love to beat in that game.

When you hear fans screaming your name do you prefer: "Kristo", "Robert", "Robbie"?


Photographer Notes

This photo of Robert Kristo was the 3rd shot in a sequence in the 2nd half of the North Carolina FC vs Birmingham Legion game on August 15th, 2020 at Wake Med Soccer Park.

Due to COVID restrictions I had to set up in the bleachers in the 200 section of the stadium. This game started late after an almost 2 hour rain delay and the challenge with shooting from Section 202, in this case, is the elevated position means you are shooting downward onto the pitch. Because of the wet field conditions, the lights created a glare off the pitch. In addition, that corner of the field is poorly lit compared to the corner with sections 302, 301, 208, and 207.

This photo was shot with the Nikon d750 and Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 Sports lens at 250mm, 1/1600s, f/2.8, and ISO 4500.

All photos ©Gregory Ng at Follow Greg Sports Photography
This site is not affiliated with the North Carolina Football Club

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