Mitja Ilenič says he is loving life in New York City.
Having made the move to the United States from his native Slovenia in January, the 18-year-old has been settling into his new surroundings.
While the defender has had to contend with a major life change, switching to a new country, culture, language, and league, he asserts he has enjoyed every minute, describing the experience and his new city as ‘unbelievable.’
“So far, so good!” he declared. “I’m exploring New York a little bit when we have an off-day or something.
“I go to the city, just cruising through the city. Every day, you can see something new, and to be in New York is something unbelievable.
“The first time I went to Times Square… in the whole of Slovenia there are two million people, and in the time I was there, there were two million people just in Times Square!
“Any time I go anywhere, there’s a bunch of people. I’m getting used to it, but it’s amazing!”
Ilenič has slotted in seamlessly to life in Bronx Blue on the pitch too, featuring in six of City’s eight games.
The defender already has two assists to his name for his new Club, teeing up Gabriel Pereira and Keaton Parks in successive matches, as he continues to showcase his offensive threat.
The full-back noted he has had to adapt to a quicker pace, but believes he is thriving in his development.
“The league is harder,” he reflected. “The tempo is better, the players are better individually. Overall, the league is so much better. It’s improving throughout the years.
“This is also why I came here – to adapt, and to become a better player and person.
“[The attendances] are really good. I’m not used to such a number in attendance at a stadium. I’m getting used to it.
“When we play at home, it’s amazing. The atmosphere the fans make is very good, and I’m looking forward to playing as many games as possible.”
The City Boys complete a three-game home stand this weekend with the visit of FC Dallas to Citi Field.
Chasing a second successive win, and third straight assist, Ilenič says he and the squad have sights set on producing an improved performance, especially on home soil.
“We are working this week to prepare for the Dallas team,” he continued.
“We are looking forward to three points. We need to upgrade our performance from the Nashville game.
“Our goal for the weekend is three points.”
NYCFC are back on home soil next weekend for the last match of our three-game home stand.
The Boys in Blue welcome FC Dallas to Citi Field on Saturday, April 22 in a 7:30pm ET kick-off.
Tickets for the game are now available. Don't miss your chance to cheer on the City Boys!
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