Matthew Srbely is a pro soccer player for Toronto FC II in the USL League 1. A 20 year old midfielder with tons of talent and potential, he has risen through the ranks at Toronto FC’s academy.
Growing up, what was your favorite team?
My favourite team was FC Barcelona.
What are your thoughts on the Candian and American games, do you think pro/rel may help?
I think the North American game is growing fast and the level is constantly getting better.
What advice would you give younger players who want to become pro?
My advice to young players would be to not be afraid of making mistakes and just work hard at your craft.
How would you describe your path from academy to Toronto III to Toronto II?
Like I said my path was filled with good and bad moments but it’s just a constant journey of learning and improving. That’s how you climb to new levels.
What are common misconceptions about being a pro?
There’s a lot of ups and downs. You have to sacrifice a lot but if you love the game it’s worth all that.
What are your goals for the future?
I just want to keep getting better and play at the highest level I can.
Who are your soccer role models?
My favourite players are iniesta and Zidane
Do you have any pre game rituals, if so what?
I just like to relax before games nothing in particular .
Best player you have ever faced?
Best player I’ve trained with would have to be giovinco
How do you handle the pressure that comes with being a pro athlete?
Working hard and being confident in your ability is how I try to deal with pressure.
What is your dream 5 a side team?
Messi, iniesta, zidane, Ramos, yaya toure.
Any tips for midfielders out there looking to make an impression on coaches?
I don’t think players should play to make impressions on coaches. I think playing your best and enjoying the game is how you should approach games.
What separates an amateur/semi pro to a pro?
The consistency of professional players is the biggest difference between amateurs and pros
You made your debut coming in as a sub vs Bethlehem, how were you feeling when you stepped onto the pitch?
Coming on I was just looking to make a difference for the team and help the team get a result.
In three words, describe the emotion after your professional goal against NYRB II?
I was extremely happy to see all the hard work pay off in one small moment. It was a step forward and a confidence boost for sure.
Interview by Chris Dailey
Big ups to Matt for making this interview possible! Great talent on the pitch, great person off of it!