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Player Q&A: Ami Pineda

By Chattanooga Red Wolves SC, 02/26/19, 10:45AM EST

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Get to know midfielder Ami Pineda

What does it mean to be a member of the first roster in Chattanooga Red Wolves SC’s history?

It’s a privilege to be part of this club—the plan we have in place to make this team the best team in the league and all the history we will make this year gives us a lot to look forward to. It really means a lot for me to be a part of this organization.

How would you describe your style of play?

I’d say I'm a shifty player and very calm on the ball.

When did you know soccer was what you wanted to pursue? Did you always want to be a professional footballer?

I knew I wanted to be a professional soccer player because it’s what I've enjoyed doing most since I was four years old. Soccer has always been everything to me, and I really don't think I can go without playing. Honestly ever since I started playing, I knew that I wanted the sport to be my career.

Is there an iconic player that you’ve looked up to throughout your career?

Lionel Messi. 

Why Chattanooga? What made this move the right one for you at this point in your career?

I decided to come to Chattanooga because of the vision and the plan they have for this club. I know they have the right mindset to make this a great environment for me to become a better player. I think at this point in my career I can develop and mature more as a player here with the Red Wolves. 

With 2019 being USL League One’s debut season, what are you most excited about? What are your expectations for the 2019 season?

I’m really excited to see all the fans come out and support us. I know this is a soccer city, and for us to be successful we need a lot of people cheering us on. I'm confident we will do good things for the club and the city and have the ability bring a trophy back home this season.

How was your first week of preseason?

My first week of preseason has been great. We have a great group of top-notch, talented guys, and I’m really enjoying myself.

What's your first impression of Coach Hankinson's coaching style?

Coach Hank has a clear picture of what he wants our team to do, and I can tell he’s a great coach with a winning mentality. He has the experience to help us to develop as players.

First impression of the Red Wolves roster?

We have a lot of older, experienced guys who have been leaders for the clubs they've played for previously. This is a tremendous asset that will help lead our team to win a trophy.

You spent last season with USL Championship’s Orange County SC—describe that experience. What did you enjoy most?

My experience last year at OC was a little bumpy with lots of ups and downs, but it only made me become a better person both on and off the field. That being said, it was a very special season because I made it to a USL final in my second year of being a pro.

Are you excited to be staying in the USL? What makes USL competition different?  

I’m super excited to stay in the USL—it’s great competition, in and out every single day, from training to games. Everyone works really hard to get to where they want to be.

You were active in the U.S. Youth National Team Program from U-14-U-20—what was that like? How did it impact your development as a player?

Competing in the National Team Program impacted me as a player because of the level of competition. You’re competing against the best In the country, so you know day in and day out you have to work hard and give 100%. Everyone there is very talented—getting into good habits and learning how to play different roles as a player are crucial. 

Not many people know that you were the first American invited to train in the Nike Academy in England—describe the feeling when you got the invitation.

I was very fortunate because it wasn’t easy to be chosen to go to England for the Nike academy due to the level of competition. It's something I can’t even explain because I would have never thought I would get an opportunity like that.

What are you most looking forward to about living in Chattanooga?

I’m looking forward to checking out the hiking trails and local scenery—I really enjoy the outdoors.

Favorite pregame song?

“Nonstop” by Drake.

Favorite historic soccer moment?

My favorite historic soccer moment is when Zidane head butted Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup—who could forget that? 

 

Ami joined the Chattanooga Red Wolves roster earlier this month. Keep up with Ami on Instagram and Twitter

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