Gabe Segal has revealed he is always read to step in and try to take his opportunity with the first team.
The forward joined New York City Football Club off waivers in January after spells with Louden United and German side FC Köln.
The 22-year-old subsequently impressed Nick Cushing and his staff during preseason and earned his MLS debut in April. He built on that with his first MLS goal against Orlando City SC, before notching a second this past weekend against Columbus Crew.
In both instances, Segal was introduced as a substitute and found the net in the 89th and 94th minute respectively. Seizing his opportunity from the bench, the forward said he is always ready to step in when called upon.
"I think that's when the opportunities have come and I've taken advantage of them," he said.
"I'd say for me personally, I've definitely always been a player that even when things look like they're not going to go our way - which they have in those two games - I feel like you fight until the end of the game.
"That's kind of my mentality. I'm always ready. The goal [against Columbus] took a crazy bounce but I was ready for it because that's just my mentality at any moment even though it was late in the game.
"I think that definitely helps me in those moments."
NYCFC are currently navigating a busy schedule that will see them travel to Atlanta on Wednesday before a cross-country trip to Portland on Saturday to face the Timbers.
With so many games in a short space of time, Cushing must manage his players' minutes, and Segal sees that as a perfect opportunity to earn more game time.
"I think it definitely gives opportunities to guys the may not play as much if the games were spread out," he said.
"I think that's a healthy thing for every squad because you have a bunch of players who are really excited and ready to go. They train hard and they're just waiting for their moment or opportunity.
"I think the congested schedule does give way to giving the opportunity to players like myself and others who are waiting for an opportunity to prove themselves."
Segal was also able to shed light on the mood of the camp as they look to record two big wins this week.
"I think obviously we haven't had a great stretch of games," he said. "But we have a great mentality in the locker room.
"I think everybody's coming into each game confident that we can get a result. It hasn't happened as much as we'd like recently, but I do think that everybody is approaching each game the right way and we're sticking together which is the most important thing."
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