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Interview #59 - Bryce Orsini
2. You played in the DC United Youth System, what’s your opinion on the set up of academy soccer in America?
I think the academy system has both its pros and cons. I think that there is no better platform for youth kids. The amount of attention you receive as a player from competing in academy is enormous, it’s simply the highest level you can play here in the states for youth teams. It’s the easiest route to get picked up by top colleges, pro teams, and youth national teams by far. The biggest drawback unfortunately is that not all kids have the means to play in these leagues. Obviously it takes considerable talent to get on an academy team, but there is a financial obligation to it as well that can stop kids and their families from joining.
3. Who was your favorite player to watch as a kid and why?
100% was Messi. He is just spectacular to watch because he solves impossible situations on the field. I always tried to emulate him, we have similar builds and both enjoy running at defenders so I always gravitated towards watching him play.
4. Before signing with the Bobcats, you played in England for Wakefield. How did that opportunity come about?
I was in contact with someone who was aware of the project and he thought it would be a good growing environment for me. We talked it over and I decided to go there to play and it was a great learning experience living and playing there.
5. What did you learn not just as a player, but as a person, during your time in England?
I learned a lot of management skills that I wasn’t used to. I was cooking, cleaning, shopping, and just managing myself 100% of the time things in the field and off. It helped me grow and learn true independence for the first real time in my life. I think I developed a much greater sense of discipline as a result of it, obviously I was on my own so if I don’t get whatever task I need done then who will?
6. What was your biggest ‘culture-shock’ moment while in England?
The biggest culture shock for me was the rain. Hands down! It rained and rained and rained. When I woke up it was raining, when I trained it was raining, when it was raining it rained some more. I think I went out and bought myself a super heavy rain jacket the second day I got there.
7. You’ve been at Maryland Bobcats for some time now, and they recently joined the NISA. What’s the biggest difference in the level of play from amateur/semi-pro to the professional game?
A lot of people have asked me that and truthfully the answer isn’t one most people expect, at least from my experience. Obviously the level and intensity is higher… there’s more at stake and it’s a high level. But having said that, that is not the separating factor. The biggest difference is 100% the preparation. The hours of preparation spent on the training ground, strength and fitness in the gym, eating the correct foods, rolling and stretching and sleeping. Most people finish their day at 5pm. Playing at the pro level is a 24 hour day every day. Every single thing you do is relative to the game somehow. From the time you wake up to the time you fall asleep every decision you make will inevitably impact your ability to perform. And if you can’t get all those little things right off the field you will see your game plummet when you step on the pitch. It’s always evident when training time comes who ate properly, who slept enough, who is hydrated, who hasn’t been putting in enough work with a ball, or on the treadmill. Sports are the one thing that you can’t fake. What you are on the field is never ever by accident.
8. In pre-season, how have the Bobcats managed to train while also reducing the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks on top of that?
I think management has done a great job handling things under such difficult circumstances. Wearing masks to and from training and limiting exposure as much as we can I think has been taken very seriously by the club as a whole. Adhering to the rules and advice set out by those that manage the fields and those in authority is something I’ve seen the staff take very seriously. Nothing is perfect but management and us as players are definitely doing the best we can to keep everyone safe and sound while preparing for the journey to come.
9. Who is your biggest role model and why?
I don’t have one. I just wanna be the best Bryce Orsini I can be. What that looks like, I can’t tell you. But I work my butt off day in day out to be the best me that I can be. You just gotta work for what you want and put your faith in all the work that you put in.I respect and admire qualities in other people and try to pull from those sometimes, but overall I’m striving to always hold myself to a high standard, and with each passing day have that standard be raised little by little.
10. If you could say one sentence to your younger, 13 year old, self, what would you say?
I would tell that boy that all he can control is himself. Not to get caught up in what other people are saying or doing and just focus on bettering himself.
11. How rewarding is it to know that you’re getting ready for a professional season in NISA and that all the years of hard work are finally paying off?
It feels amazing. Knowing my job is to wake up and play the game I love, I feel truly blessed. The game I’ve given so much for is showing me the fruits of my labor. Just goes to show you whatever you want in life if you believe in yourself and work hard for it you can achieve it. It’s been my dream since I was a little boy to play professionally and now that I’m here I have higher and higher goals now than ever, and hand in hand with that comes an even higher drive and work rate required to reach them.
12. There has been a lot of debate regarding pro/rel for the USA. What is your opinion on this topic?
I think having a promotion relegation system would greatly drive up the interest in soccer here in the states. Whether it makes sense financially or not is a different question, but It would make matches way more interesting for everyone. Knowing that every game counts whether you are close to clinching the title and promotion or to stay above relegation just instills more passion in both fans and players alike.
13. Who’s the best player you’ve ever played with and against?
If I had to choose one that really stood out it was Brenden Aaronson. I went to a few youth national team camps with him and some other really great guys. The level was always incredible. Andrew Carleton was always there, Josh Sargent, Chris Dunkin, and my close friend Michael Edwards just to name a few of the guys there to kind of paint the picture. At the time Brenden was physically behind most of the guys there, but his decision making and quickness in which he made those decisions is something I thought was incredible. And in my mind that’s what set him apart by a bit.
14. What’s the biggest misconception of being a pro soccer player?
The biggest misconception is that we are mean people! We aren’t! Pro athletes aren’t better than anyone else nor do we think we are. Our job requires us to be very selfish when it comes to our time though. Ask any athlete there are a lot of sacrifices that come with being a pro. Most people have a hard time understanding that and tend to just label it as being mean. A lot of things like staying out late, or eating bad foods, seem like normal day to day things to most people, but to us those little things can be detrimental. People don’t empathize and understand that enough I don’t think.
15. Using only three words, describe yourself?
Dedicated Confident Hyperactive
16. Define happiness.
Happiness is enjoying your Monday morning just as much as the weekend.
17. Bryce, thank you for answering all of these questions! I really enjoyed having you on! Any last words for the readers?
Thanks for having me on it was a pleasure! To all the readers thanks for tuning in and I’ll see you all soon when I make the next leap in my story. Stay the course, trust in yourself and your hard work, and go get after your goals and dreams. Life’s too short to be living out someone else’s dream.
Founder - The Sports Court
Note from Chris: Hey everyone! Just want to say this is the first blog post of 2021, I have been working hard on my YouTube channel and launched a podcast! If you want to check those out, visit the newly designed home page!
Nextly, a big thank you to Bryce for coming on and answering the questions! A truly amazing player and an even better person. Bryce is a tremendous worker and true professional! Big ups and good luck to Bryce and the Bobcats as they enter the 2021 NISA season!
A huge sports fan who loves to learn about all sports, from every corner of the world!