Less than two weeks after his signing was announced, Rodney Wallace started the 2017 season opener for New York City FC. Don’t let anyone tell you that this guy is reticent. Apprehensive. No, this is a man who wants to rumble.
At the club’s annual Media Day, the Costa Rica international dished on how he’s settling in with his new team and what Patrick Vieira demands from his players. Here’s Rodney Wallace in his own words.
On ‘defending from the front’ in a 4-3-3:
I think that’s why I’m here. I think [Vieira] saw some qualities in me that fit his gameplanm and its just up to me to execute them.
On how he gauges NYCFC’s progress so far:
Everybody seems to be coming into form. For me, I came in a little bit later, but day by day I’m just getting more used to the traits of each player, and at the same time, they're getting used to mine.
On Vieira’s value as a manager:
Every single day you step out there in training it’s a chance to learn and a chance to get better. He gives you time to grow as a player. He has confidence in everybody, and it makes for a better environment for every single one of us.
A personal tidbit that caught us by surprise:
I grew up with Ethan White. I’ve known him since childhood, so that’s a good friend of mine.
On what Vieira means when he says he wants the team to be “ruthless”:
It just means executing in the final third and not letting chances go by. He wants us to finish our chances, to put teams away when we have the chance, not let them come in and score goals against us when we know we’re the better team.