A.J. Soares has broken his silence.
On Saturday, Soares spoke to the media for the first time since embarking on his European adventure. The 26-year-old spoke highly of practicing with Viking FK, the Norwegian club he's currently trialing with.
"First of all, really nice guys," Soares told local media. "I really enjoyed hanging out with the guys and getting out here and kicking the ball a little bit. The coach was great."
After his contract with the New England Revolution expired at the end of 2014, Soares was rumored to join Hellas Verona of Serie A. When the move didn’t materialized, the defender set his sights elsewhere, keeping his focus on Europe.
Soares trained with Stabaek IF for several days, even starting and scoring in a friendly against Strommen. Stabaek Coach Bob Bradley made it clear that Soares was only there to practice and that he would soon be trialing elsewhere. The California native would later link up with Viking.
Although he’s only been with the team for a brief time, Soares has been impressed by Viking, who are currently in Spain preparing for the upcoming Tippeligaen season.
"You can see that it’s a good club, a big club with good resources," Soares said. "They try to take care of the players and that’s important for football."
Soares is expected to start in Sunday's friendly against Vålerenga. The scrimmage could play an important role in the negotiations that are scheduled to take place on Monday.
While Soares has been upbeat about Viking, he was noncommittal when speaking to the media on Saturday.
"I've really enjoyed it so far," Soares lamented. "It’s too early right now to say, ‘oh, I want a contract’ or anything like that. Right now, I just need to focus and try to play well and impress the coach."