The transition from European to American soccer is not always an easy one to make. The travel distances are often longer and the climate can vastly differ from what a player would experience in Europe. Rowdies forward Georgi Hristov began his professional career in Bulgaria and had two separate loan spells in Poland and Israel before coming to Tampa Bay.
Perry Van Der Beck, Technical Director and Director of Player Development, has praised Hristov’s work ethic since his arrival to the Rowdies.
“It is unbelievable how quick he got used to playing over in the U.S.,” explained Van Der Beck. “He has come out since his arrival and has worked very hard to accommodate to this team. His skill is clearly visible on the pitch, adding a great amount of quality to the squad.”
Hristov has risen to the occasion, however, and become a force for the Rowdies so far this season. He feels that it is part of his job as a professional to adapt to new environments and that is exactly what he’s done so far this season.
One similarity between soccer on the two continents that the Bulgarian has noticed is the fans. He was impressed with their presence during the last home match against Seattle saying that Ralph’s Mob was “very similar to the fans in Europe... they were crazy.”
Hristov has been in blistering form in these last few games with an impressive tally of five goals in his last four matches, including the winning goal in the historic win over the Seattle Sounders in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup.
As impressive as his goal scoring record for the Rowdies has been, Hristov remains very humble. He sees scoring goals as part of his job and gives most of the credit to the rest of the team for the way they’ve been playing.
The forward believes that there’s always room for improvement, no matter how well he’s playing. He has a similar feeling about the way the season has progressed so far for the Rowdies.
“Unfortunately we lost points against Edmonton but in soccer you can’t win every game,” commented Hristov. “If we can play our best football, there is a one hundred percent chance that we can win these last few games.”
Tampa Bay will go on the road once again to face the Carolina RailHawks on Saturday, June 8 at 7:00 p.m. ET. On June 12, the Rowdies travel to JELD-WEN Field to take on the Portland Timbers in the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup.
The Rowdies will then return home to play San Antonio on Saturday, June 15th at Al Lang Stadium. For information on 2013 season tickets or individual tickets contact the front office at 813-287-1539 or firstname.lastname@example.org.