Make sure to check out the full-length #AskASoccerPro episode here, and the PS Clip about 'Zlatan in My Back Pocket' below!
While I was doing the work I knew I had to in order to be ready, I went and shut down Zlatan. I denied him any scoring opportunities and confused him like a small child in the box and on corner kicks.
What was I doing marking Zlatan? There’s no reason a five-foot nine-person should be marking Zlatan in the box in one of the biggest games of the year, but I did and shut him down. I crept into his head and am still building mental space for everybody to come and enjoy and live in as they learn about the MSL.
It takes time to learn about the MSL, and I’m patient. But if you think about that point in time between Zlatan and me, it was an opportunity for me to prove everyone wrong. I had been putting in the work for six whole months at that point, having to work as if everyone was right, and I really was on a downward trend.
There was no way for me to know who was right until I had an opportunity to prove myself. That opportunity didn’t come until that LA Galaxy game. If at any point between the beginning of the year and that LA game I had felt sorry for myself or given up, or didn’t do the work to be ready, I would not have been ready for when my opportunity did arrive.
Without putting in the work, I would not have been able to shut down Zlatan so he was unable to score a single goal. That’s #MSL greater than MLS right there, right? Because this man claimed to be MLS and then he joined and saw the MSL. He panicked and he ran away from the middle of the goal on a corner kick play before the ball was even kicked.
Before that match, I had never seen Zlatan play a single game in my life. I was expecting to be impressed and think, “ah, this is what everyone was talking about.” Nope. You can tell me did this amazing play or made some goal that defied physics, but then he lost to the MSL.
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