New York Red Bulls II midfielder Barry Sharifi signed his first professional contract on March 5, 2020. Sharifi formerly played for Red Bulls Academy and the New York Red Bulls U-23.
Learn more about Sharifi below:
Q. What has been the best moment of your soccer career so far?
Sharifi: I believe that it has to be my time spent at Loyola University-Maryland because of the positive influence that I had on the program and what we were able to achieve as a team. We won three regular season championships, while I was there. It has never been done before and it was a really huge accomplishment for me.
Q. How did it feel to get drafted in the MLS SuperDraft and then sign your first professional contract?
Sharifi: It was a great moment to be drafted because of all the anticipation. Of course, after being drafted there would be a lot of work to be put in in order to earn the contract. However, it was a great moment to sign my first professional contract and a moment that I will never forget.
Q. What was the biggest change you had to make from college to the professional level?
Sharifi: I think at every level, there is an increase in speed of play that you have to adjust to. So, I believe that the speed of play was the biggest change for myself. Although I was in the academy, there is still nothing like the Red Bulls pressing style and I had to get used to it in order to perform.
Q: How did your time with the academy and the U-23’s make you prepared for the professional game?
Sharifi: Being in the academy and on the U-23’s, I was already used to many of the philosophies and would just have to tweak what I was doing slightly. I believe that it really helped me get used to the style of play much faster.
Q. You have had your first preseason, what is some advice the older guys have given you?
Sharifi: Some of the best advice some of the older guys have given me and what I would like to pass down to up and coming players is to be confident in everything that you are doing and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. They’re going to happen in a game of soccer of course you try to limit them, but you have to be ready and confident for the next action.
Q. What is your favorite pre-game music?
Sharifi: The music that I listen to before a match has to be from the artist NAV.
Q. What do you like to do when you’re not training or playing soccer?
Sharifi: When I’m not playing soccer, I like to play video games, read, and play with my kitten Luna. However, during these tough times, I am looking for a new hobby.
Q. You have been a part of the New York Red Bulls family for a couple years, what has been your favorite thing about it?
Sharifi: I really love the very high standard that the club has for every player on the field and off it. There is this need of a high standard as a person as well as a player and this teaches us a lot.
Q. Was there a player that you grew up admiring when you were younger?
Sharifi: Lionel Messi. I really admired him, while I was growing up.
Q. What is your favorite movie of all time?
Sharifi: I Am Legend, Will Smith is incredible in that film.
Q. Who is your favorite club to support?
Sharifi: I am an Arsenal fan. They are my favorite club to support. COYG.
Q. With the suspension of play, what have you been doing to keep busy?
Sharifi: Other than working out and stay fit, I have been playing a lot of Call of Duty Warzone as well as reading some philosophy stories.
Q: If there was a 3v3 tournament, who would be your two picks for your team from the club?
Sharifi: Easy, I would pick Omir Fernandez and Kaku.