Alfredo Morales has done his talking. The U.S. International is ready to play.
The 31-year-old is a new face at New York City FC after signing for the Club earlier this year, calling time on a thirteen-year association with German football. Along the way he sampled life in the country’s top two divisions, facing off against some of the world’s best players.
As the start of 2021 approached, however, Morales was ready for a new challenge, and that’s when an opportunity in MLS presented itself.
Now he is preparing for his first-ever Eastern Conference semifinal against New England Revolution on Tuesday night. This is all a new experience to the man that was born in Berlin but who represented the United States Men’s National Team internationally.
It is one he is embracing, however, and using his past to guide him through. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Morales is one of the team’s most experienced players. That was undoubtedly one of the factors that appealed to NYCFC when acquiring his services – giving them a leader in the engine room.
“I mean, this is what I what I did my whole life to, to lead to help my teammates to support and to spread positivity,” Morales said. “I'm experienced now I don't think I look very old. I feel very good. I feel young, in my head and physically. This is what I want to bring to the table I want to help everybody and I want to be successful. We have to work together, and this is what I want to do, I want to help us work together as perfect as possible. If we do this, like I said, we have a great team and we can go very far this year.”
Standing in NYCFC’s way is New England. Bruce Arena’s not only won the 2021 Supporters’ Shield but also set a points record in doing so. A trip north to Foxoborough, Massachusetts is by no means an easy test. If the Boys in Blue are searching for positives, they can remind themselves of how close their encounters with the Revs have been. A 3-2 and 2-1 loss were punctuated by a 2-0 victory at Yankee Stadium.
In short, the pair have run each other close in 2021 and Morales believes that points to a shared level of quality between the two.
“I have a lot of respect for them,” he said. “They played a tremendous season. But I mean, maybe everybody will say they're the favorites, but I think we're at least on the same level. And this is how I approach the game. We go there to win and I don't really care who we play. We want to win.
“We want to show how we play and we're on a very good stretch. We have very good games in the past couple of weeks. And we want to continue we want to go all the way so it's just about executing our game plan, bringing our potential on the pitch and we know we can beat anybody. It doesn't matter if they set any records or whatever we can win this game. That's what's important.”
You can watch the clash against New England Revolution tonight live on FS1 at 7:30PM EST.