- Red Bulls rookie defender Connor Lade played the second half in New York’s 2-0 win over FC Dallas Tuesday, helping New York earn a shutout in its first preseason match. The former St. John’s University and Red Bulls Academy product, who officially signed with the club on Dec. 5, has been looking to make his mark in the first few weeks of preseason, featuring mainly as a left back in training and against Dallas. We caught up with Lade after training Thursday:
Talk about how preseason camp has been going for you.
It’s been going really well. I’m really excited to be in here around a great group of guys and just focusing on improving every day. The coaching staff is really good at giving feedback to you, it’s a learning experience and I’m enjoying every minute of it.
Many first-year players coming from the college game notice the higher level of play in the pros. Is this something that you have seen?
Absolutely. You have to come in and transition right away and it’s a much higher level of quality. You just really have to work on adjusting as fast as you can and I feel like … I’m starting to get more comfortable and focusing on improving every day.
You played your last two years at St. John’s at centerback but the coaching staff has used you on the left. How has that adjustment been so far?
It’s been really good. I grew up playing that position all of my life and actually, was fortunate enough to play the first two years of college there before transitioning to centerback. It’s been a really good transition and I’m excited to get back on the wing because that’s my preferred spot to play.
Off the field, how has the chemistry been with the other guys?
It’s been great. [The team] got to zip line yesterday so that was a really cool experience. I actually had never done that before but I’ve heard good things about it. [I have been] hanging out with the guys by the beach and overall, we have a lot of jokers on the team so it’s a fun environment to be in.
How do you think you played against FC Dallas Tuesday?
I thought I had a good performance. It was hot but just getting back into it, it felt good to play a game again and put the hard work we’ve been putting in preseason camp actually into a match.