Flo Valot Cincy
Ben Solomon

CHECKING IN: Florian Valot

With the current 2020 MLS season on pause, the New York Red Bulls’ coaches, staff and players have no choice but to train from home. This will be a time for them to try new things, but to also stay active and ready for when everything returns to normalcy. 

Midfielder Florian Valot shared with us what he has been up to in recent months: 

How has this experience been for you, training from home? What have been the challenges that you’ve faced so far with this new reality you have to deal with?

“Honestly, I didn’t think it was too challenging. I kind of faced a similar situation by being hurt for two years, kind of being alone and having to be patient is now part of who I am. So I’ve been doing as much as I can, learning new stuff, cooking, calling family, trying to just stay busy and stay on schedule, so I don’t get bored. So far, it’s been good, and I feel like these past two months almost, they’ve gone by fast.” 

We already know about your cooking abilities from your Virtual Player Appearance, what has been the most complicated dish you’ve prepared so far in this quarantine?

“I think it was...well most of the recipes that I try are easy. I think the risotto is not that easy to make, but I think that the one that gave me the most trouble was the chocolate lava cake that didn’t end super well in the Virtual Player Appearances, so I have to it again, but it turned out to be really good, but it didn’t have the shape or form that I really wanted. I just have to practice, you know. It’s my new place; I need to get familiar with the oven, and how I’m supposed to cook it, but it’s good.” 

With the time available, how’s the constant communication with your family and friends back home in France been? 

“It’s been pretty the same for my family because I usually talk to them like three, four times a week, but now I get to talk to all of them at the same time because they’re all home. And now I’m just connecting with most of my friends as well. We do like Zooms; my family that I usually don’t talk to that much, we usually connect as well, either on Facebook or Zoom. So yeah it’s been good, I think rather than texting people, I’ve tried to call them. I think it’s better, easier and quicker as well, so yeah I try to take as much time for them and try to get to know what they’re doing and how they’re dealing with the quarantine back there.”  

When you’re trying to meet your teammates and coaching staff, the face-to-face interaction is important, but with all these conversations you’ve had with them virtually, is there a chance that you actually learned maybe a little more about them? Or is it very complicated?  

“It’s complicated. Nothing replaces live interaction, face-to-face interaction, especially right now the only time we talk or see each other is either when we do meetings with the coaches or when we do workouts on Zoom, sometimes we call each other, so we get to know what we’re doing during the day. Like if they’re reading, if they’re cooking, calling family or doing other hobbies that they have, so yeah I’ve picked up two to three things about some players, but nothing replaces the face-to-face.”

With Jason Pendant, who just barely got into the team, and with Manny Egbo, you can say the same thing, how has it been chatting with them, letting them know that you’re there for them if they need support? 

“It’s been good. Jason knows that because I texted him. He knows that if he needs anything, he can ask me. I’m sure he knows that, he can ask anybody else in the team. Same with Manny, we’ve connected multiple times as well through social media, trying to challenge each other for bike workouts, so I hope they feel integrated. I think they do, and that’s what we’re about in this team; it’s pretty much a family and we get along with each other really well. We get integrated really well and fast.”   

Message to the supporters:

“I hope you guys are doing okay, that you’re staying safe and healthy at home. I know it’s a difficult time right now, but the most important is that everyone is staying safe. We all miss competing, training and playing in front of you guys, but this time will come. We have to be patient and I hope to see you soon.”