If you were brought in from a foreign country to play in MLS and you ended up spending most of your first season on the bench how would you react?
While I’m far from a professional athlete, being away from the country I call home and getting relatively no playing time wouldn’t make me feel that great.
But that’s not the case for Christian Mafla. On a bright and sunny Tuesday training session, his smile was also shining as he made his way across the practice field.
Due to injury issues, Mafla has only played in four games and racking up just over 200 minutes played along with 10 fouls conceded and a yellow card.
At training on Tuesday, Mafla said that he was feeling good and looking forward to keeping those injuries in the past and being able to help the team.
But Mafla hasn’t exactly been able to prove himself. In New England’s last four games, the Columbian has failed to make an appearance off the bench. The next time he steps on the field, it will be his first action since the end of July.
The left back knows that with DeJuan Jones playing some of the best soccer of his career Mafla will need to make the most out go his next opportunity.
“I have to wait for my chance and just continue to work hard,” Mafla replied when asked about his reaction to getting some extended time on the Revolution bench. “Like you said DeJuan (Jones) is doing very well and I have to wait for my opportunity. I’m wishing my teammates the best, even if it’s guys who play the same position and we all have to put our best foot forward for the team.”
The left back also said some kind words about Jones describing him as a great player who is improving game by game. Mafla also added that he is a very important part of New England’s squad.
Starting on Wednesday, the Revolution play three games in the span of a little over a week. With such a flurry of games, there is bound to be some squad rotation, and the Columbian is looking to compete with Jones.
“I’m working hard for my chance so that when I do get the opportunity to play I can play my best,” said Mafla. “I know I hope to continue to compete with DeJuan but what I have to do is continue to work hard and just wait for my opportunity.”
Mafla’s first chance could come on Wednesday when the Revs face D.C. United at home. While there might be a lot of unknown, one thing is for certain if Mafla gets a spot in the starting XI in the middle week. The 28-year-old will work hard and probably enjoy himself while doing so.