In our second edition of Home Away Home, presented by Western Union, Andre Shinyashiki tells fans, in his own words, what life in Orlando has been like, how he’s keeping busy and more.
Being down in the bubble is obviously a bit weird, but it has not been bad at all.
We have to wear a mask, but we’re going to have to get used to it because I think it’s kind of like the new normal now for everyone. And at the end of the day, I feel safe, and, honestly, life in the bubble is pretty good.
We still get to experience some of the amenities of the hotel, like the pool. They have a couple of game rooms for only the Rapids, and they also have video games that we can play here. They have a bunch of stuff, so you can tell they’re trying to make it as comfortable as possible.
The best part of being in Orlando is hanging out with the team. Interacting with my teammates is something that I really take pride in. Connecting with the guys and being able to really reconnect with them since we were away for so long, has been the best thing for me.
To keep busy, since we can’t leave our rooms really outside of meals, games and training, we have a little Call of Duty squad going on with me, Diego Rubio, Younes Namli and Nicolas Mezquida. I’ve got my Call of Duty all set up. I brought my mic, my headphones, my PS4 and my monitor. I know some guys that play didn’t bring their monitors, and they’re kind of struggling. I didn’t really bring any like gadgets that remind me of home or anything like that - just the basics, and my video game set up.
Other than that, I’ve been watching the other teams play. We haven’t watched soccer in a long time, so that’s been great. The Premier League is on, and MLS is back, so spending my time watching those games has been good.
So far, I think life in the bubble has been exactly how I expected. Even, I would say, a bit better than I expected. The food is really good, and that’s also something really important because we can’t really go get food somewhere else.
We have our own meal room, and we usually get either pasta, rice or some type of carb with any type of meat. Sometimes that’s chicken, sometimes it’s steak, sometimes it’s fish - I really like fish, personally. There’s been really good white fish here as well as salmon.
Last Tuesday, we had our team reservation for the hotel restaurant. It was a good time for all of us to get together and spend some time together as a team. We had our routines we made the new guys do, and it was a really awesome time. It was good to bond us together as a team.
It’s still not ideal to be playing without fans, but, at the end of the day, I feel safe. And, even though the fans aren’t here, we are all trying to work really hard to provide them with the best soccer we can. Even though you aren’t here, you are on our minds.
- Andre Shinyashiki -