2023 Preseason

Familiar Faces: Nathan discusses growing Brazilian contingent on Quakes’ roster


Communication is key.

It’s common for soccer clubs to have a diverse pool of players on their roster with different backgrounds, nationalities, and primary languages. San Jose is no exception as they currently have 11 different nations of berth in the locker room. After the obvious slew of Americans, the club’s second most common nationality? Brazilian. Newly acquired goalkeeper Daniel adds to the trio of returning players: Nathan, Rodrigues, and Judson.

Currently in his second preseason with San Jose, and approaching his third regular season, Nathan can feel the team’s hard work and time together paying off as matchday one approaches.

“Our team is fantastic. We’re always together as a big group, and that has a positive effect on what we do on the field,” shared Nathan. “Our preseason is going well so far. We’re training and working hard every day. We just had a friendly on Tuesday where we felt good and tactically strong.”

Part of Nathan’s role on the back line is making sure to communicate heavily with fellow countryman Rodrigues, who doesn’t speak much English or Spanish. Nathan can relay messages and stay in close contact with his center back pairing.

“We played together in some games last year, but Rodrigues is now much more adapted to our style of play, to our trainings,” recalled Nathan. “It’s great to train with him during practices because he understands me, we can talk a lot, and that’s a plus when it comes to correcting our mistakes.”

The two center backs were also able to share the field with Judson, who not only speaks the same language but also adds a familiar Brazilian flair to the team that makes their brotherhood richer. Nathan recognizes the importance of having multiple players from the same nationality in a club.

“I think communication is one of the most important aspects on the field. If we’re able to speak the same language, then everything just flows much better. Judson, Rodrigues, and I can speak the same language and communicate very well. Our positions are important, so we try to stay well-connected on the pitch.

“When you are the only one from your country on a team, you can feel lonely or perhaps lost. Even off the field, you may not have someone with a similar background as yours whom you can bond or spend time with. Things are better now, we have good company, we understand each other on the field, and we’re actively learning English together.”

From having Judson as the only Brazilian player on the Quakes’ roster in 2020, to adding a fourth Brazilian to the roster last week, Nathan is excited to see his country’s representation grow and integrate with the rest of the team.

“We’re excited to welcome Daniel, and I think overall it makes all of us stronger. It’s always good to have someone else from your same country. I know we will all bond with the guys well.”