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Quote Roundup: First Week of Training

The first week of preseason training is underway ahead of the team's first road trip to Arizona. Here we offer a few choice quotes from Head Coach Adrian Heath and both some new and returning players on how training is going, what they expect from the new season and from Allianz Field.


HEAD COACH ADRIAN HEATH

On expectations for the team heading into the 2019 season …
“I said the day I got here that come the end of the third year, we should have a good idea what we're about. I'm certainly a lot more optimistic than I've been the previous two years. We've got better players, we've got a better understanding of what's expected of us moving into a new stadium. There's a lot of excitement about the place and quite rightly so.”

On what the affiliation with USL’s Forward Madison means for the club this season …
“It's going to be pleasing for me, but it's more important for the players. The players are the ones who are going to benefit the most. The Wyatt [Omsbergs] of this world, who haven't done much football. Mason [Toye], Carter [Manley] and the draft picks we had this year. Now they've got somewhere to go and play. It's down the road in American terms — six hours away. [Forward Madison Head Coach] Daryl [Shore]'s very open to what we're trying to do. The relationship is going to be important for us, but we also understand that Daryl's got his own club to look after. It's certainly a move in the right direction.”


MIGUEL IBARRA

On what the addition of new players — especially Ozzie Alonso — means …
“I think we've got the players now that we needed. I think we have one that's really important and that's Alonso. I think him being a leader and being a veteran in the league is going to help a lot. He just has that bite, that hunger. He wants to win and that's all that matters to him. I've had a couple conversations and all he tells me is we need to win. With that mentality, I think he's going to lead the team.”


ETHAN FINLAY

On the feel of the team in training so far …
“There's kind of two groups, in my opinion. There are these guys who have been here a year or two, who have been part of a team that people have written off, in a way, who have something to prove. Then you've got these new guys who have been added to our team and they're going to start to feel like this team is wanting to go somewhere. This is not Minnesota United 2017 or 2018. This is a team that has playoff aspirations and will accept nothing less.”

On how he sees Jan Gregus fitting into the team …
“Jan is a big guy who can distribute, good with both feet and very composed. He's played in Europa League games, he's played on the international stage at a high level. You get guys like that who have experience, they can hit the ground running here in MLS. They won't have the same issues some other internationals have where they come over and it takes them six months. I think Jan will be able to step right in and have success. One thing I think we can do better on is set pieces and I think he adds another element to that, whether it's delivering the ball or getting on the end of it. If you think about our guys, you've got Kallman, you've got Calvo, you've got Boxy, you've got Jan — we're going to be one of the bigger teams versus every team we face.”


OSVALDO ALONSO

On stepping into being a leader even as a new guy on the team …
“You have to show every day in training and the game. You have to play good, play hard for the team. When your teammates see you play like that, they follow you. That's the leadership. I come here to perform and do my best for the team.”

 

 


JAN GREGUS

On why he chose to make the move to MLS …
“I follow the league and I can see that it's getting better and better every year — a lot of quality players and quality teams. I already can say that this team has a lot of quality and should finish higher than what I saw last season. I saw many good players in this squad and hopefully, we're going to grow and learn from each other.”

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