The San Jose Earthquakes drove down to Southern California on March 10 to begin their 2021 preseason in Santa Barbara with some new faces in the mix. Among those new player signings are defender Luciano Abecasis and midfielder Eric Remedi, who officially joined the Quakes family last month.
Just over halfway into preseason, both players are in good spirits and recall their first days with their new club.
“I am honestly very happy and thankful for the team and the warm welcome they gave me,” Abecasis said. “That is important for someone who is coming in from another country and without knowing anyone. That makes it easier to adapt and makes me very happy overall.”
Remedi also shared his positive first impressions as a San Jose player and his excitement to be back in training mode again.
“I am very happy and getting ready,” Remedi said. “We’re training really hard physically as well as technically. We’re getting used to it and getting in shape. Very happy to be back at training.”
The new guys. pic.twitter.com/65LiOMmKeO— San Jose Earthquakes (@SJEarthquakes) March 17, 2021
With the 2021 MLS season just a few weeks away, Abecasis and Remedi knew that preseason would be a fast-paced and intense environment, but also a space where they could reflect and enjoy their hard work training alongside the beautiful views of Santa Barbara.
“It’s a beautiful place because it has a combination of mountain views and the ocean close to us,” Abecasis said. “The views are nice. The mornings tend to be a bit cold, but the sun then comes out in the afternoon and it warms up until the evening. The city looks awesome from the small bits that we have been able to see because we’re not on vacation.”
“This is my first time coming to Santa Barbara,” Remedi added. “The place is very, very nice. We have days when we go to the beach and run on the sand for training, so we train with a beautiful view. The place where we are staying at is a very nice area where no one bothers us. We can do all our work quietly without having any pressure or having to be sharing places with others. The place and the weather are practically perfect.”
In addition to integrating themselves to the Quakes squad, the Argentine duo are also taking advantage of these weeks to get to know their new teammates, not just on the pitch but off as well. And despite there being a language barrier with some of the players, that is not stopping them from trying.
“The language obstacle is there to overcome, so I’m already trying to learn English,” Abecasis explained. “I brought very little knowledge with me, so I can understand if others speak slowly. But I want to begin to communicate with everyone 100% on my own. As a matter of fact, when I am chatting at lunch or dinner, I try to sit between the Americans so that I can listen, maybe make a few mistakes and continue to learn. That is the only way because I want to learn it fast.”
Remedi, who knows basic English, recognized how important it is to get to know the team and the positive effect that it can provide as a new player.
“I'm getting more and more confident with the squad every time,” the Parana, Argentina native shared. “Luckily, I already know the coaching staff, but I continue to gain much more confidence with the players. I have integrated myself very quickly and they have treated me super well, which makes it very easy for me to continue growing and feel comfortable.”
A team’s preseason is said to be the foundation for a healthy and long-lasting season. Given the current health and safety improvements in comparison to last year when the COVID-19 pandemic caused sport stoppages, Abecasis and Remedi are currently training hard and enjoying their time with the team as they look to build each of their foundations for 2021.
“This preseason is very good for me. A physical conditioning basis is always essential and especially for a football style with as much rhythm as the one in MLS,” the 30-year-old defender shared. “I am very happy to be able to add another league to my career, and I take it with the same responsibility as every time I had to change countries, leagues, and tried to adapt as soon as possible to customs and forms. I’m very happy for this new challenge in the United States and we hope it goes very, very well because we are very excited.”
“These preseasons are perhaps similar to those in Argentina with double sessions and with areas where you can train,” Remedi agreed. “We have already been here for a week and a few days; the coexistence is perfect, and the group is united.”