Heading into Tuesday night’s playoff matchup against NYCFC, some players will know what to expect, but others will be experiencing the phenomenon for the first time.
Arnor Traustason and Wilfrid Kaptoum fall into the latter category. After coming over from Europe and adjusting to the style of play in the United States, these players will have to adjust once more.
The two acquisitions didn't exactly steal the show in their debut seasons. Both failed to etch out a solid role in the starting XI and at times struggled to find their way onto the pitch.
“I’ve had better seasons,” said Traustason. It took me (some) time to adjust, a longer time than I expected but I’ll take it as a learning experience and I will just build on it from here.”
Kaptoum mentioned that there was a learning curve as well.
“At the beginning it was different and a little bit difficult because of the change from the Spanish league to a U.S. league, it is a very big challenge,” Kaptoum stated. “Little by little I adjust my fitness so now I’m feeling very good and enjoying the league.”
Traustason got a sense for what MLS playoff soccer looks like by watching the games prior to New England’s matchup against NYCFC.
“It’s different from the regular season games,” he said. “I mean there’s only one game, do or die, so those games are different. I’m excited to experience it.”
Like many of his teammates, Kaptoum is expecting a difficult match on Tuesday.
“The league is very difficult so you can imagine how it will be in the playoffs,” he said. “New York City is a very good team. We have to be ready to go because it’s never easy winning the league.”
So while it’s unclear if these two see the field, Traustason and Kaptoum will experience the lovely MLS Cup Playoffs one way or another. Now that they have adjusted to the league, hopefully these two will be able to make an impact if called upon.