Philadelphia Union Academy goalkeeper Tomas Romero has returned to Clearwater, Florida for his second preseason training with the First Team. This time around, Romero is joined by Academy midfielders Michael Pellegrino and Brenden Aaronson.
For Romero, 2018 marks the second time the Salvadorian goalkeeper has joined the Boys in Blue for preseason camp in the Sunshine State.
“The first time around, all the goalkeepers really showed me the ropes, gave me great advice and really helped me out,” Romero said. “This time, I was very prepared for it and listened to the advice that they gave me before.”
Romero is happy that he has trained with the first team before and has the experience under his belt with the squad. He feels more comfortable this year and is a lot more acclimated to the team.
“I’d say that this time I feel a little bit more experienced and obviously more comfortable around the guys when we play,” Romero said. “I felt like the first time around I just felt nervous and afraid to do things and just not make mistakes, but this time I’m trying to learn as much as I can from the experience.”
Since Romero has experienced preseason in Clearwater, Florida before, he’s taken on a small mentor role for his Academy teammates Pellegrino and Aaronson. Romero's been giving them advice that he received last season when he was just 16-years-old.
“I’ve been giving them (Pellegrino and Aaronson) the same advice I did," Romero said. "When we go to meals, let some of the older guys go first and then we’ll go. Ray Gaddis actually told me that one last year so I told the other Academy guys the same thing and he was actually happy about it.”
For Romero, being here is just another chapter in his young career. He credits the Academy for guiding him and is now determined to make the best of his opportunity.
“The Academy is trying to prepare pros. Even my first day with the Academy they really focused on making me a professional and that’s what they want to do," Romero said. "I feel like this is the next step in my career so I want to take that opportunity and do the best that I can.”
Romero and the rest of the Union will take on Chicago Fire in their third and final preseason scrimmage tomorrow, Feb. 8 at 11 a.m. Streaming information for the match will be announced later today.