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MLS Huskies Part I: Adjusting To The Pro Level

April 27, 2015

Starting this week, UConn men's soccer will take a look at some of the former Connecticut standouts currently playing in Major League Soccer or other professional leagues. We will provide updates on their teams and share some insight from the players, who have all answered a variety of questions regarding their pro careers.

MLS Weekly Recap
Cyle Larin | F | Orlando City (Record: 2-2-4) | Sunday's Result: 2-0 loss to Toronto FC

>> Started up top and played 67 minutes
>> Finished with two shots
George Fochive | MF | Portland Timbers (Record: 2-3-3) | Sunday's Result: 1-0 loss to Seattle
>> Dressed but did not see any playing time
Tony Cascio | MF | Orlando City (Record: 2-2-4) | Sunday's Result: 2-0 loss to Toronto FC
>> Did not appear
Andre Blake | GK | Philadelphia Union (Record: 1-3-5) | Saturday's Result: 4-1 loss to Columbus Crew
>> Dressed but did not see any playing time
Sergio Campbell | D | Columbus Crew (Record: 3-2-2) | Saturday's Result: 4-1 win over Philadelphia
>> Did not appear

This Week's Question: What Was The Adjustment To The Pro Level Like?
Cyle Larin --
"The transition was a difficult one in some parts of the game from college to the MLS. Just getting use to the speed of the MLS level and training hard in and out every day hundred percent. But off the field things were kind of the same. Things like taking care of your body and getting work done for the next day were similar to college.
George Fochive -- "
I thought the transition was most difficult on the field. The level of play is higher at the professional level. The game is much faster, the players are quicker and smarter and there is less room for mistakes. You must adapt to that or else you will be a step behind."
Tony Cascio -- "The transition from UConn to the MLS is both physical and mental. Physically, you have to make sure your body is ready to compete at a high level. Mentally, you have to be engaged and focused at practice and in games."
Andre Blake -- "I would consider the transition from playing at UConn and going into the MLS as a pretty big jump. We all know UConn has a very good soccer program and plays a very attractive brand of soccer. However the hurdle was a big one as you are now playing with grown, mature and professional players. The pace of the game is much quicker and that's as a result of players being smart and more advance than the college level. At the end of the day, it's a job and everyone has to take it very serious and that leads to a very competitive environment."
Jossimar Sanchez (Defender for the Swedish Pro Team Nykopings BIS) -- "Personally it was a tough one. But that doesn't mean it was because UConn didn't prepare me for it. Dealing with my injury made it difficult. UConn helped me be physically and mentally ready to deal with MLS and how that environment is. UConn really is a professional environment in the way that it treats its players. I was really able to notice that once I left."