Luis Barraza | “I’m Embracing The Challenge Of The Number One Spot.”

Luis ORL

Luis Barraza says he is thriving from the responsibility of the number one jersey at New York City.

The shot-stopper has featured in every minute of MLS action so far this season, donning the gloves following Sean Johnson’s departure in the off-season.

The 26-year-old assets he felt ready to step up, and is enjoying holding a more senior role within the squad.

“I took on that challenge, and I’m embracing the challenge, and I love it,” Barraza said. 

“I think I was well-prepared to take on the responsibility, take on the challenge. Given the fact that in the past four years, I’ve played the role of back-up, and am now stepping into the role, it’s a big responsibility because you’re representing an organization that has been very successful in the past.

“I’m enjoying it but at the same time, with the power comes the responsibility.”

The Boys in Blue are back on the road on Wednesday, traveling to Orlando City SC in search of a first road win in 2023.

Barraza admits the squad are disappointed with results so far this season, but asserts the players are giving their all to return to winning ways with an improved offensive threat, looking to mount a serious challenge for silverware.

“I personally feel frustrated – I know a lot of the guys do too,” he added. “We have a locker room full of talent, a lot of guys with a winning mentality, and it’s natural for competitors to feel that way.

“Obviously, everybody in the group is frustrated with the spell of games that we've had so far. I think given previous experiences, in these moments, you have to resort to what you've always done and for us, nothing changes. 

“We prepare the same way, we prepare with the same intensity to go in and win the game, with the mentality to go and win the game, whether that's home or away. That's always been our standard and again, we do the same things.


“We obviously apply ourselves even a little bit extra – whatever that may be: maybe an extra video session, or going over some technical things here and there – but overall, the mentality going into a meeting or practice is to give 100%, and prepare the best that we can for the match.

“When you go back and look at the tape, and look at the opportunities that we have going forward, it's a matter of milliseconds – whether to make a pass, or know when to make a pass, and what pass... I think that is the only difference. 

“When you look back and really analyze the film, we’re building up from the back, and going forward, you see the ideas, you see the intent..

“I think personally, if I didn't see that, I would be a little bit alarmed, but we have the work ethic – we've worked, the numbers show that we work, we have the right ideas… it's just about again, being a little bit more aggressive going forward, and being clinical in the final third.

“The ideas are there, and it's that the margins are really slim. I think once we make that step, we're going to be a force to be reckoned with.

“I certainly think that we're moving in the right direction and listen, we're not even past halfway through the season, so I don't think we should really 'panic', if you want to put it that way. We’re learning as we go on, so we're definitely going to be in a much better position.

“These stretches of games where you’re not seeing a lot of advancement points-wise…. I’ve said so before: we’ve been through that rough spell, and every team goes through that little rough spell of games where things don’t really seem to go their way.

“It’s just a matter of staying calm, and having trust in the work that you’ve done, and the process, which I think we have done in the past games of league play. Going forward, we’re going to focus, and really dial in, and apply ourselves, and learn, which is the most important thing of all.

“We go into every game, every weekend with the mentality that we want the three points. Having the bye weekend this weekend, going to Orlando, and getting three points is massive for us – not only because we want to climb the table, but also to put us in a great spot to go into the following weekend, and then get a win at home as well.

“We have to go to Orlando and make those little decisions that in the end, make the major difference. I think it's good for us to gain momentum, and again, we're going to go there, and try to get the three points.”

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