Tiger Talk! Q&A with Ted Ku-DiPietro

This month’s athlete is Ted Ku-DiPietro, a professional soccer player and offensive midfielder for DC United. Ku-DiPietro, is a hometown player who grew up in Oakton Virginia amongst 8 of his other siblings and attended Oakton High School. After three seasons with Loudoun United––the D.C. United Reserve Team––he signed with D.C. United. In his first game of the season in 2023, Ku-DiPietro scored his first goal to clinch a win over Toronto FC, 3-2, and was named Major League’s Soccer Team of the Matchday for week one.

Natalie Gordon, News Editor

Q. What would you say to your high school self if they could see you right now?

A. I would say to enjoy the moments of being a kid because it doesn’t last as long as you think and things get very serious in life so be prepared for when that happens.

Q. What lessons did you learn as a high school athlete do you still use today––whether in your sport or outside of it?

A. I would say the biggest things are probably discipline and time management because having to deal with homework and going to high school practices and club practices and still get the right nutrition and the right rest is very hard. Also, to have the mental strength to keep pushing through that does take a lot especially for someone that is taking APs or trying to get all As or go to college- it’s very difficult. 

Q. Was there ever a time in your life when you felt like giving up on your sport, and how did you overcome that?

A. Yeah, I think there’s been multiple times when that has happened to me. I think the biggest time was probably during lockdown for COVID and the way I coped with that was meditating and trying to gain control over my mind and not let outside aspects affect me or my mind, so basically control what you can control. Also, just doing that little bit of work every day goes a long way, and that going back to the basics did help me to get that motivation back. 

Q. I know most of your siblings are into the sport, how has that changed your attitude, has it put more pressure or less pressure on you? 

A. No, I would say that honestly it relieves pressure just to see them going through that and just being able to help them because I’ve gone through some of the things they’ve gone through., Especially being in the area and having them coming to my games I think that’s even more of a boost. 

Q. Is there something special about scoring in the first game of the season, do you take more significance from that and was it more different than any other goal? 

A. Yeah, obviously not starting the first game did kill my confidence a little bit but honestly, the feeling just to come on and try to save the game and help my team win is honestly the best feeling in the world. At the end of the day, I just want to school more goals and help my team, so I think the biggest thing for that is keep working hard no matter what the situation is and being able to make the best out of what situation it is. 

Q, Is there any other advice you want to add specifically about your high school experience that you think is important? 

A. It’s never too late. I mean I played my freshmen and sophomore year [of high school] which is almost unheard of [for someone to play in high school and then go professional]. But it’s never too late if you have the right beliefs in yourself and the right people behind you.