New York Red Bulls II defender Samad Bounthong signed his first professional contract on March 4, 2020. He played for Red Bulls Academy for one season, where he scored 11 goals. Bounthong earned All-MAAC first team honors at Marist College for two straight seasons.
Learn more about Bounthong below:
Q. What has been the best moment of your soccer career so far?
Bounthong: The best moment of my soccer career was getting cut by the Seattle Sounders Academy. When that happened, I turned into a proper footballer. I taught myself how to work and train properly after that and my love for the game surprisingly grew even more. It was a big shock in my life, but it helped me grow up both as a person and as a footballer.
Q. What has been the toughest challenge on transitioning to outside back?
Bounthong: The toughest challenge about transitioning to outside back is watching my teammates attack. As a midfielder in college I was involved in a lot of the attacking transitions and I really enjoyed putting goals away and setting others up to score. Now I understand my role will demand less of that but with more experience in the position, I hope to be able to find the proper moments to join the attack. For now, i’m focusing on perfecting the basics of being an outside back.
Q. What was the biggest change you had to make from college to the professional level?
Bounthong: The biggest change I’ve made from college to professional is devoting more time to maintaining my body. Without classes and homework, I’m able to stretch more, perform strength workouts more regularly, prepare healthy meals, and get plenty of sleep.
Q. You have had your first preseason, what is some advice the older guys have given you?
Bounthong: Some advice from older guys that have been helpful was to buy in to the team’s style of play and be ready to run. I’m a hard worker and very coachable so preseason went very well for me. The older guys are always giving me advice and keeping me engaged so my transition into the team has been a really good experience.
Q. What is your favorite pre-game music?
Bounthong: Before games I listen to Mike Sherm, but my favorite genre of music is R&B.
Q. What do you like to do when you’re not training or playing soccer?
Bounthong: When i’m not training I enjoy eating, playing video games, shopping, and talking to my mom on the phone.
Q. Was there a player that you grew up admiring when you were younger?
Bounthong: There are many legends in the game I grew up loving but one of my unique favorites is Franck Ribery. I used to watch his highlights before games as motivation and today I still enjoy watching his clips.
Q. What is your favorite movie of all time?
Bounthong: My favorite movie of all time is Never Back Down.
Q. Who is your favorite club to support?
Bounthong: My favorite to club to support first is the New York Red Bulls and then Real Madrid. I’m a die-hard Madridista.
Q. You have lived on the West and East coast, which is better and why?
Bounthong: When I’m in grind mode, I prefer the East Coast. Just relaxing, I’m choosing the West Coast. I think I’m choosing the West Coast overall though because of the food. Real authentic Mexican food and Asian cuisine are my weakness.
Q. With the suspension of play, what have you been doing to keep busy?
Bounthong: To keep busy i’ve been learning a lot more about the sneaker culture and have also been selling sneakers. I’ve also been reading up on the JDM car scene and daydreaming about my dream cars. I’ve also enjoyed talking to my mom and watching my dad grill.
Q: If there was a 3v3 tournament, who would be your two picks for your team from the club?
Bounthong: I would have to choose Barry Sharifi & Deri Corfe.