Collin, McCarty Ready for a Florida Homecoming

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by RUSS McKENZIE

When the New York Red Bulls face Orlando City SC on Friday, their newest defender Aurelien Collin will be returning to the team that traded him less than a week after the transaction was finalized.

Captain Dax McCarty, who faced DC United only a few weeks after being traded to New York, knows the feeling.

“Certainly with it being his first game with us, going back, emotions will be very high,” he said. “I know what it’s like. It was emotional. You have a little bit of a chip on your shoulder. You feel like you have something to prove.

“I’m sure Aurelien will feel he has something to prove to that team and coaching staff.”

Head Coach Jesse Marsch echoed his captain’s sentiment.

“I think Aurelien has a lot of emotion in it. There was an appreciation in Orlando from their fans, so I think he’ll have a lot of excitement which will be good.

“I think he’ll be up for the challenge.”

Collin, however, had a much different take on the Friday’s match. While most would expect some rancor from the 30-year-old French veteran, Collin greets the potential confrontation with a wink and a smile.

“It’s gonna be a beautiful party, playing against my friends,” he said after training Wednesday. “Kansas City is my home, Orlando is my home, and now New York is my home. I’m very lucky to call America my home.

“Playing in a stadium with a lot of fans is always a good experience. I can’t wait.”

After being Orlando’s regular starter in 2015, the coaching staff decided to use the former MLS Cup winner as a depth player off the bench. It seemed a very easy transaction for Sporting Director Ali Curtis to complete, since New York has been plagued by injuries to their backline over the first stretch of games. Additionally, Collin offers a certain amount of experience and stability to a back four that has allowed the most goals due to defensive errors so far this season.

Marsch had very positive things to say in Collin’s first training sessions. “He’s fit in really well already. It’s almost like he’s been here for a while,” he observed.  “He brings a savviness and expertise and experience. We’re very excited to get him on the field and get him going.”

Collin, who made his name in MLS being a rock in Kansas City, agreed with his new coach. “It’s been two days, it already feels like home. New York City, it’s like Paris, so it’s not a big change from where I grew up – lots of people from all around the world. It’s easy to adapt.”

McCarty, who’s family still lives in the Orlando area, recognizes the challenge that Orlando City provides, and he, for one, remains focused on the task at hand.

“It’s always fun when I get to go back there and see all my family and friends. But, the main focus now – it’s not a social trip, it’s a big test, and a huge game for us. We dug ourselves a hole, but we’ve responded in a good way, and shown good character to get out of the hold we’re in.

“We’re by no means out of the woods. I’m sure they’re going to be fired up.”

Orlando forward Cyle Larin has been especially dangerous to New York, having scored 4 goals in the previous two matches against the Red Bulls. Collin, who trained with Larin, acknowledged the challenge, but is prepared for anything. “Cyle is an (unpredictable) player. He can do something amazing. Right now, I think we need to be focused on ourselves, doing what we’re doing in training. Whatever comes, we will manage it.”

McCarty echoed that confidence. “Once you string together a couple of good results, you always feel a little bit better about your team and you always feel more confident. Confidence is really important. When a team loses confidence, you stop making you’re own luck, everything seems to go against you, and then teams start scoring goals you don’t think you should concede.”

“It’s a mental thing – this team is really strong mentally,” McCarty continued. “We’ve come out of a really tough situation that no one expected us to be in. But now we have to put together a string of really good results, because it won’t mean much if we can’t put together a really good (set of games). This is where you get into the really tough part of the season where you start losing guys to injuries and call ups.”

 

  • William

    haahahahahhha METROSTARS jersey again ahahahahahahahaa what a bush league team this is hahaahahahahahahahahaha will this game be retro nite at giants stadium also ? ahhaahahahahhaa

    • slowleftarm

      Game is in Orlando angry Bill. Try to keep up. Also, I thought you said people should only post on articles about their own club.

      • William

        hahahaahahahhahaa Metrostars jersey hahahaahahahahhahahahahahahahahahaha what happened to the rebranding didn’t that happen in 2006 ? hahahahahahahhhaaa team is a pathetic joke.

      • William

        BTW is it the NJ Metrostars or the NY Metrostars or the NY/NJ Metrostars please educate the Soccerworld. Thanks again.

        • William the haha doofus

          Oh, it’s the I’m a doofus William Metrobulls

          • William

            maybe we can dig up Tab Ramos for this struggling Harrison side.

            • Tab Ramos

              I have worms, but that’s something else completely. I’m alive and coaching and I can beat your but in soccer any day!

  • The only garber

    Those are nice Atlanta United jerseys :)
    Can garber just rebrand this team or buy them….. :)
    By the way I can’t wait for the Atlanta United jersey to come out

  • The only garber

    Do red bull players get fined by mls or their nazzi owners by using a metrostars jersey

    • Big Hands packing red Bull

      We have wings, Mr. I’m not Garber. Why do you have such small hands? Oh, I get it