After arriving at the club in early March, Jason Pendant made his club debut in the MLS is Back Tournament, as the New York Red Bulls defeated Atlanta United 1-0. Pendant also made an appearance in the starting line-up against Columbus Crew last Thursday.
“I’m really happy that I got the chance to play again,” said Pendant. “Now, it’s time to work to be the most efficient possible.”
In the 179 minutes he’s played for the Red Bulls, Pendant has quickly connected with the team’s defensive backline, and Head Coach Chris Armas has taken notice.
“Yeah, I think that a lot of what we thought about Jason we saw show up on the day,” said Armas, days after the win over Atlanta, “he’s a player that has some good experiences under his belt from Ligue 2 in France, and it wasn't his first time out there. Minimally, he brought enthusiasm and showed some savvy moments, a competitive will, understood the position well and connected to the backline. I think what we saw most is that he plays with passion and love for the game. And he stands tall and he's up for it. So, we were happy with Jason and he's only going to get better.”
Although Pendant already played several matches with New York, he looks forward to the day when he will be able to take in the atmosphere in the stadium, with the fans’ presence.
“I’m still trying to adapt to my teammates as I discover a new competitive and intense championship in a particular context, where we play at closed doors,” said Pendant. “I look forward to the day of discovering the MLS atmosphere once we can play games at the stadium safely.”
After the 2-0 defeat to Columbus, Pendant believes that it will be important to showcase the same intensity the team showed in the win against Atlanta.
“Against Cincinnati, we have to step onto the pitch with the idea of giving a good performance and take on the game with the same intensity as against Atlanta, so we can get the win,” he said.
For Pendant, playing his first MLS games in the MLS Bubble will be a story he will always be able to tell. The situation we’re living in demands to take the necessary precautions so everyone involved can stay safe.
“We’re playing this tournament in a particular context, away from fans,” said Pendant. “It’s important for everyone to respect the sanitary guidelines as best as possible when practicing sport, but also in day-to-day life.”