May 12, 2013 Interview
Interviewer: Péter Takaró
Could you tell our Facebook followers & MTE supporters how you got here to Mosonmagyaróvár?
— In the summer of 2012, I was playing in a summer league in Cleveland, Ohio. After my first game with the club, the opposing coach saw my talent. He approached me after the game and mentioned that he had connections in Hungary. I tried and contacted a gentleman by the name of Charly who is currently living here in Hungary. He had connections to ETO FC and that was it. He warned me that the team already signed 4 new players and the likelihood that I will sign now is very unlikely. In the winter of 2012, I was experiencing a very hard time at home. I had a lot of turmoil going on in my life and I thought maybe this was not the right time to pursue an opportunity over seas. It came to a point where I needed Football, more than anything, to put my life back on track. I finally called Charly mid-January and said I am coming to Hungary! He warned me again about the limited opportunity and I didn’t want to go down without a fight. When I arrived and made it to Gyor, I was denied a tryout with ETO FC. The first team traveled abroad to train in a better climate and I asked if I could at least train with the reserve team. Still I was rejected. Charly, my English speaking guide, made numerous calls and approached friends to see if anyone could help me. Charly’s next door neighbor had a friend who was a former player here in Hungary. Laszlo, the former player, had connection here in Mosonmagyarovar. I trained with 4 different clubs including a club in Solvakia before committing to Mosonmagyarovar. I am thankful that MTE has taken a chance with me and provided me with an opportunity to play. There’s nothing more I want to do than help MTE win the league. My new teammates worked hard in the first half of the season to put MTE in this position and I hope I can carry some of the pressure.
How do you feel yourself here? How’s it comparing to Germany or home? How are you getting along with your teammates?
— It sure is different! Football will always have similarities and differences where ever you go. It is part of the education process that this sport offers. It has come to my surprise that Hungary is more westernized than Germany. I really had to change my way of life in Germany but in Hungary there are many similarities to the United States. The shopping, traveling, the choices of food, and the ability for people to speak multiple languages are all similarities. I am able to use some English and German throughout Mosonmagyarovar. In Germany, it was strictly German as I lived in a more residential area as I was living in a suburb outside of Leipzig.
It wasn’t an easy transition moving into the locker room with the team. I did have some help from my fellow teammates as they helped guide me in English. I do take responsibility for not being prepared by knowing more Hungarian before I arrived. I was hoping that my ability to play football would speak for itself. There are still some teammates I wish I could communicate more with. I have opened up my personality with some teammates. So, it still is a working progress!
In 8 games with MTE (including cup games) you’ve scored 4 goals, collected 4 assists and 2 yellow cards…quite impressive, how do you feel about your performance so far?
— I have to be honest as I am always harder on myself than anyone else can be, but my statistics are only average. I am not satisfied as I should have scored more goals. My teammates know that I should have had another 2 or 3 goals added to my list. However, at this point in the season, these are only number next to my name. I don’t care if I score a goal, help assist a goal or make a great defensive play, I am going to try and do whatever it takes just to win the game.
Which position suits you the best? Which one are you playing here? Have you ever played other roles or even other sports at some point?
— Ever since I started walking, Football has been the only sport that I have played. I thought about basketball and hockey but Football was just too big in my family’s life to try something different. So, on the field, I have to say central striker is my strongest position. I have played there for many years and I enjoy the opportunity to out work the defense. Currently, I have seen time as the central striker and right mid-field. In Germany, I saw most of my minutes in the center mid-field offensively and defensively. It was good for a change, different challenges and different pressures.
There are rumors already that you got an offer from a (at the moment) 1st league team, Siófok, is it true? What are your future plans?
— I did receive an offer from Siofok. This offer is rewarding for all the hard work and focus that I have stressed on Football lately. It also shows that there are people who see my potential and are willing to invest in me. As comforting as this contract may be, winning a title for Mosonmagyarovar is my first priority. My future plans will become more concrete when we enter the month of June.
Any progress with the Hungarian language?
— Some teammates and friends have been helping me along the way. I know a lot more than people think. My major problem is when I am able to ask a question, I most likely cannot understand the response. I strive every day to learn something different and use it with different people. It’s the only way to improve!
What do you know about the team’s history or this town (anything)?
— In Mosonmagyarovar, I walk everywhere. It gives me the opportunity to see things up close and read written information that is posted. Over 70 years ago, 2 cities joined together to form Ovar (a term used by the locals!). The Ovar Castle has witnessed some great times throughout history. One of the latest history moments was when it became private property of the Hapsburg family. From there, it was devoted to science where the University now interacts. Also, around the World War II era, the St. Gotthard Church became a burial crypt for the Hapsburg’s Archduke Friedrich Hapsburg and his wife. I am still learning more and more every day.
Unfortunately, I do not know much about MTE’s history. What I do know is that the team is making huge strides to become a successful club. I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to help make some of the history for this club!
Who is your favorite player ? Do you have favorite Hungarian player maybe?
— I don’t have a favorite team but my favorite players are Cristiano Ronaldo and Didier Drogba. I enjoy watching Cristiano Ronaldo’s creativity and his passion for winning. I also enjoyed watching Didier Drogba and Chelsea during their run in the Champions League in 2012. I forgot to mention that I enjoy watching the young Marco Reus; current Dortmund player and in the future with the German national team. Every year I seem to be cheering on someone new or a new team that work extremely hard for their success.
What do you do in your free time?
— I like to think of football as my job that I enjoy doing. I find myself extremely busy here in Mosonmagyarovar. I train about 6 hours every day for football. I will go to the gym for a few hours. I will run somewhere between 5-8 kilometers. I practice individual training and then I have team training. At the days end, I will educate myself by watching higher level football on the television. I try to do these activities about 5 times a week! I have traveled a long way to play and enjoy my football. I am extremely far from the best but that doesn’t mean I can’t give it my very best effort.
Everybody needs a day-off! The days when I am not training, I will either have a match or I find a place to travel to. I like to get out and enjoy life. I enjoy meeting new people, talking with people, music, shopping and the European culture. There is so much out there to see and learn, so I try to cherish my opportunities!
Any message you would like to send to anybody?
— I have so many messages that I want to share! However, this message is for everyone: Pain is temporary. You may feel physical pain, emotional pain, it may last a minute, it may last a day or it may last a year. There will come a time when something else takes it’s place but if you quit, it will lasts forever. Believe and have the self confidence that anything is possible. Surround yourself with people who’s attitudes are nothing but positive. Don’t be afraid to fail and never give up. We have one chance at once in a life time opportunity. So, why not be prepared to give it everything you got?