For many soccer players, rookie seasons can be make-or-break campaigns as they try to break into the professional ranks and show they have the stuff to compete at the highest levels of the sport.
The hard work, learning curve and earning of trust that goes into breaking through can often remain unseen behind-the-scenes. But in a new season-long series, Nashville SC rookie forward and Tobacco Road FC alum Alan Winn pulls back that curtain and takes us along on his journey through his first professional season in the United Soccer League.
Welcome to the PDL Alumni Diary.
Alan Winn - Started, played 78 minutes in Nashville SC’s 2-1 loss vs. Indy Eleven - 78.3 percent passing accuracy, 5/8 duels success, 1 shot on target, 1 chance created
Week five marked the continuation of Alan Winn’s rise up the Nashville SC depth chart, as the rookie earned his third consecutive start.
Unfortunately for Winn and Nashville SC, week five did not follow week four’s success, as the club couldn’t overcome a two-goal deficit and lost to the Indy Eleven, 2-1, on the road. The Eleven struck twice in 30 minutes to seize the advantage in the first half, though a goal moments before half-time from Ropapa Mensah halved Nashville’s hole. Despite dominating the run of play in the second half, Nashville was unable to find an equalizer and left Lucas Oil Stadium empty-handed.
In his 78 minutes on the field on Saturday, Winn created a couple of the few bright moments for Nashville. His passing accuracy was impressive, as was his success one-on-one, but ultimately he couldn’t match last week’s Goal of the Week-winning efforts.
“It was a very humbling moment, I’m very blessed for it. Obviously my attitude now is that I wish I could’ve done it this week, but you have to take it week by week and hopefully keep going with what we have moving forward.”
“It does get frustrating. You look at film and see what the other team was doing and what the pitch was like, so it does get frustrating. But these are our mistakes and hopefully we can clean up those mistakes and going into next week learn from them and apply those lessons so we don’t make them anymore.”
“It depends. For now I believe, and I think [Nashville SC Head Coach] Gary [Smith] believes, right now we stick with what we’ve got. We made mistakes and those things happen, but there’s no need to hit the panic button or go switching everything. We just have to know what our weaknesses our and know what our positives are and continue with the positives.”
“Well, unfortunately that [playing behind the strikers] wasn’t my job. So that was my first mistake. My mistake was that I didn’t do my job. I should’ve been high and wide, so to say I was in and up isn’t a good thing for me. So I just need to learn my role, and that’s my mistake. I was playing more in the midfield and that wasn’t my job today.”
“You just learn from the negatives and what happened. You learn from what you did wrong, look at some video and see what you didn’t do and what you did right. That’s what we need to do moving forward. It’s a long season and I believe these next four games are away, so they’re crucial points that we need to take care of.”
“I wouldn’t say that. I’m always on edge, always don’t know what’s going to happen, never complacent with what could happen going forward. Anything can happen, anything can change, so I just need to keep my nose to the grind. I always have that mentality of you never know when you’re going to play, and you need to have that at this level to keep being successful and keep doing the right things.”