You just got back from your time with the U.S. U-17 Men’s Youth National Team at the Vaclav Jezek Youth Tournament in the Czech Republic. How was it training and playing with the team?
“It was good being able to get in with that group. There are a lot of good players with either professional experience or academy and second team experience. It was great to expose myself to that environment. Playing and learning from new coaches is always valuable because you get a different outlook on how they see the game, which helps you learn a whole bunch of new things.”
What did your day-to-day schedule look like while playing with the U-17 Men’s Youth National Team?
“When we wake up, we normally have a hydration session. We weigh in and then we go straight to breakfast. We normally have a meeting before training and then we go out and train. When we come back, we will have another meeting and do some team bonding later in the day.”
You played a full 90 minutes against Czech Republic and secured the 4-1 win, the only win of the tournament for the team. Talk about that match and how it felt to make your first official cap with the U-17 Men’s Youth National Team.
“It was an honor to be able to make my debut with the national team. In that game, I was a little nervous going into it, but I was able to get a couple of saves in early and work my way into the game. It just took off from there. I was able to find my rhythm. Overall, it was a really good experience to play at that level and to be able to play with an older age group, an older national team against the Czech Republic. It was good for us to be able to solve problems as a group. It was a good experience to be able to get a full game and win.”
This is your second time in the past few months training under head coach Gonzalo Segares. What has his leadership and experience taught you?
“He has a different look on the game. It is good to try out different playing styles, as well. It was great learning from him and being able to train with him and listen to his unique outlook on the game.”
How was it training alongside another top-in-class goalkeeper (FC Barcelona’s Diego Kochen)?
“It goes both ways. We are both there to push each other. I think that is both of our jobs, to get in there and push one another and make each other the best goalkeepers we can be. It was good to be able to expand my knowledge on the 2006 goalkeepers and be able to work alongside them and keep learning and growing together.”
Coming from that experience with the national team, what are the main lessons you are bringing back to your training with the Rapids?
“It is just experience. I think it is also a boost of confidence and getting more and more comfortable with the speed of play and being able to get game time at that high level. I can come back now and apply what I learned. Obviously, the coaches have a different outlook on the game and I can take what I learned from them and keep expanding my knowledge of the game, keep learning and keep getting better.”
What are you most optimistic about for the start of the 2022-2023 MLS NEXT season?
“We have gotten a lot of new players with the U-17s, which has been good. The team is looking good. Our goal is to obviously win the league and when playoffs come, Generation Adidas Cup comes, get in there and compete. We want to get wins and try and get as far as we can in those tournaments. I think we just need to keep pushing and keep getting better, and I think as a team we can do that.”
What are your hopes for the future of your soccer career?
“If I can stay in with the national team and keep pushing and keep getting better, the ultimate goal would be to go pro and have a successful career. It starts with the day-to-day training and how I can keep pushing and keep getting better within that.”