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Meet the New Guy: Alfredo Martinez

“MLS will grow to compete with the top three European leagues in the near future.”

Given the fact that I was born in Argentina you can assume that soccer was part of my breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. Then add to the mix that my father was a soccer coach for the local team, and you’ll begin to understand how much into soccer I was since a young age. Every other weekend we would spend time at the stadium supporting the local team, season after season (most of them with more losses than wins).

From the time I was 16 to 18 years old, I started to follow soccer with more of a coaching view. I wasn’t so much interested in playing the game as I was interested in designing training sessions or tactical plays. Soccer is more than just 11 guys on your team, it’s how you can make everyone work together, how you can connect the abilities each player brings to the game.

I became more interested in coaches than in players. To me, a great coach has success with his style, even if he doesn’t have the best players in the world or doesn’t manage a different team in a different country. Two coaches that I followed a lot and watched YouTube videos about were Antonio Conte and Marcelo Bielsa.

But in the last couple years I have become interested in the news side of soccer. I like informing fans about how their club is doing, sharing personal opinions on players, managers, or playing style.

Now that I’m part of the Orlando City fan group I enjoy the chance to see players like Kaká, Cyle Larin, and Antonio Nocerino. I followed Head Coach Jason Kreis from his time in Real Salt Lake (I live in Utah) and I like the way he connects with the players. During his time in Utah he had some really big accomplishments with the team. Even though in sports a team’s greatness is determined by a winning record, I prefer clubs with attitude that fight for the entire 90 minutes. Passion and attitude is everything.

Orlando City has such passion and attitude. And then you have to add the fans. Watching the Citrus Bowl at full capacity was a great show for soccer, and now with the new stadium it will be even better. I’m beyond excited to collaborate with The Mane Land team and become part of the Orlando City family this season. Here’s to a great start this March. #GoLions