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Brilla FC's Giuliani Ready for Return to Europe with Krakeroy IL

09/07/2017, 2:00pm EDT
By Colton Coreschi - colton.coreschi@uslsoccer,com

After signing his first pro deal in Norway, Brilla FC alum Enzo Giuliani feels up for the challenge

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Photo by Mississippi Brilla FC

Many professional soccer players move to a new country or two over the course of their careers. In addition to playing well and integrating with a new team, the players need to learn a new culture and language, adding great difficulty to an already tough transition.

Thankfully for Enzo Giuliani, that transition is a familiar one. Born in France, the Southern New Hampshire University student made the leap to the U.S. for college without any knowledge of the language or culture he'd be joining. But he learned, played well, and ultimately helped Premier Development League side Mississippi Brilla FC to a deep playoff run.

During his transition, he makes mention of the helpfulness of coaches, fellow players and fans as he adjusted to life in a new country. But what's more is that thanks to that experience, Giuliani feels less apprehensive about his second big move to Norway, where he's recently signed his first professional deal with third-division side Krakeroy IL.


Photo by Mississippi Brilla FC

“The U.S. was already abroad to me, so I think it is helping me right now,” Giuliani told USLPDL.com. “Indeed I have already been in a locker where I do not understand the language, so I'm used to it, but it can be hard when it is your first time. However, everybody knows how to speak English in Norway, so it is easier than when I first came to the U.S.”

While language won't be a barrier to Giuliani this time around, there still comes all of the normal pressures of a major professional move. But in this, too, Giuliani feels prepared, and a large reason for that is the competitive play of an intense PDL season.

“The PDL is at a good and intense level, and during two months, I could only focus about soccer, practice and extra work,” said Giuliani. “I knew that if I played well, an opportunity could come. I was lucky to be on a competitive team, which was more like a big family with the volunteers around the team. We also were lucky to have Coach McKeever, who could be cool and tough when you are not exigent with yourself. And I thank him for being where I am today.”


Photo by Mississippi Brilla FC

It was a season full of success for Giuliani, as his team pushed into the third round of the PDL Playoffs before falling to the Charlotte Eagles, who would ultimately win the title. The structure and work-heavy nature of the PDL helped shape Giuliani into the type of player he needed to be to have the confidence to make his pro leap back to Europe. It also helped define and clarify his goals when moving to a new team.

To Giuliani, more so than anything else, the success of a shift like this is predicated on success on the field, and that's the area in which he seeks to excel. Though not solely relying on English is also somewhat of a focal point.

“In Kråkerøy I want to play well, and be important for the team," said Giuliani. “There are only eight games left in the season, and I want to adapt myself to the level, and be integrated in the team as quickly as possible. I will try to learn the language too.”


Photo by Mississippi Brilla FC

So far, he's proven himself to be a valuable contributor. In his debut with the club, Giuliani scored the lone goal in a 1-0 victory that showed what he brings to the table at Krakeroy IL. The moment wasn't lost on him, but he knows it's simply the start of a longer journey.

“I couldn't imagine a better start and I am happy it happened,” Giuliani said. “Now I have to move on, and focus on the next game every time.”

Giuliani is certainly the type of player able to remain focused even while enjoying the success he achieves. In the PDL, he certainly found plenty of that success, with one moment in particular standing out. After a long, scoreless draw with FC Miami City in the playoffs, Brilla FC found themselves advancing on penalties, a memory that Giuliani cherishes.

“With no hesitation, my fondest memory is our win against FC Miami City in the Southern Conference Final,” he said. “We could see the emotions and the happiness in everyone's eyes, from the one's who didn't play, to Jordan Bell who saved two PKs. That was a big communion with the supporters too.”

Many PDL alums who have taken the step up to the professional level make note of how the PDL helped them get there, and Giuliani is no exception. But he takes it a step further, and truly espouses how he believes that Brilla FC specifically helped him get to where he now stands, and he isn't shy in letting people know.

“My advice? Spend your summer with the Brilla boys,” Giuliani said. “The atmosphere is really made in order to reach your best potential. It is important to find a team with a good context, to be successful in PDL, because it is a long and intense season.”

It's safe to say that Brilla FC feel the same way about their time with him.

“We are very proud of Enzo and happy for this next challenge in his soccer career,” Brilla FC President Rusty Bryant told USLPDL.com. “Enzo is a fantastic young man and was a special player for us this summer. We wish him the best in Norway.”


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