Atlanta Silverbacks Head Coach Alex Pineda Chacón sat down to answer questions from the fans, which were recently submitted through the team's Facebook (facebook.com/atlantasilverbacks) and Twitter (@ATLSilverbacks) pages. Here is the Q & A below:
What changes will we see in how the team plays this year?
“Overall, I think you can expect to see a winning team. Defensively, we will be a stronger team, and you’ll see us put more pressure on the ball and be more aggressive as a whole.”
Is it easier to play soccer or coach soccer?
“It is easier to play soccer because as a player, all I had to control was my individual contribution to the team, but as a coach, you have to deal with many different personalities. It’s different when you have to manage all those other people instead of just yourself.”
How did it feel to be a MLS Most Valuable Player?
“It was an exciting achievement and I remember being extremely proud of myself and my team. I could not have accomplished it on my own - my team played a huge role in it. You have to work hard to win such an honor.”
Was it hard to learn English?
“Yes, it was very hard to learn English, and even today, I’m still learning. It’s a mental process, kind of like playing soccer. You have to train yourself to master each skill in different situations. You have to force yourself to practice, even if it’s uncomfortable sometimes. I’ve learned that repetition is the key, and that has been the main thing that has helped – speaking the language every day.”
Are your three daughters big soccer fans?
“My daughters are not big soccer fans, but they grew up watching it. Just like my wife, she has supported my passion for soccer for a long time and relocated with me to different countries. They have seen me play and coach for so long, so they’re kind of used to it now. They used to come to training sessions all the time, but now they just come to games.”
Is it hard to coach defenders since you played as a forward?
“No, it’s not hard to coach defenders because being an offensive player, I have had to learn how to beat defenders. I started my career as a defender, and have studied the position in tactical situations, so I don’t think it’s any harder.”
Do you ever go back home to Honduras?
“I went there to play in a testimonial match for my friend, Wilmer Velasquez, recently, but I focus on making Atlanta my home and having success here. I don’t go back too often.”
How do you stay in shape?
“It’s difficult to stay in shape because I’m on the sidelines, and I have to watch the players in games, scrimmages, and drills. I sometimes play in training, so I can show the players certain skills and try to show them the passion that I bring to the game. I also say to the players that if I can still play, you can play too!”
How do you feel about the Owner’s Challenge?
“The Owner’s Challenge is a great experience. I am such a competitive person, so whenever an opportunity comes up to compete, I want in. I like playing at all levels of soccer and helping the team sell tickets. I do not want to limit myself to only being a coach and will always play with the same passion.”