Yesterday, Jay Simpson had his first media call as a member of the Philadelphia Union. Here are three takeaways from his conference call.
Get ready for some #DOOPs
In 330 career appearances, Simpson has found the back of the net 80 times. In his past two seasons, he’s recorded 28 goals in 65 games, averaging nearly a goal every other game. Simpson is determined to bring his knack for scoring with him stateside.
“I’ll be working hard in training doing my finishing, my movements around the box, and hopefully I’ll be able to bring it over here,” Simpson said. “Hopefully get a few chances in and I’ll be able to put them into the back of the net.”
Frequent flyer miles
One of the toughest aspects of the transition from English soccer (or European soccer in general) to the North American game is the travel. Long flights totaling thousands of miles can wear on players. For Simpson and the Union, it doesn’t get much longer than a season opener against the Whitecaps in Vancouver. But Simpson is looking forward to the challenge and seeing what the United States and Canada has to offer.
“I hadn't really had a chance to talk to many other players about the league until I got over here and met my teammates, but I know there’s going to be some long journeys,” Simpson said. “We start off by going to Vancouver, but I'm really excited about it to get to see a lot of the country and it's all part of the experience, the travel and such. I'm excited and looking forward to the challenge and I think it's going to be great season.”
Despite just arriving in Philadelphia Friday, Simpson is already getting settled in, both with the team and at home. Simpson, with his eighth different team since 2007, hasn’t seen a team quite like the Union, making him even more excited for the upcoming season.
“I loved Philadelphia,” Simpson said. “I loved it at first sight. I’m excited to come over grateful for the opportunity.
“It’s rare where you going into a place where everyone is so welcoming toward you,” Simpson continued. “It’s a great bunch of boys here, everyone gets on really well here together. It’s kind of like one unit, and from my early impressions, like a family. So, I’m hoping I’ll be able to settle in quickly and contribute toward that, but the boys here have been brilliant.”