Interviews with Jahmir Hyka & Chris Wondolowski

May 11, 2017

The Quakes hit the road to face the Colorado Rapids on Saturday. After Thursday’s training session, I was able to get some time with players Jahmir Hyka and Chris Wondolowski to discuss the season thus far, and the team’s three-games-in-eight days swing.

Interview with Jahmir Hyka

Jahmir Hyka thanks the San Jose Ultras following their 1-1 draw versus FC Dallas

QF: What as been the biggest challenge for you coming into California and the United States, and playing soccer here versus overseas?

JH: I cannot say ‘challenge’ because I wanted to come here . . . [At first] it was hard for me because I was not at 100%, now it’s better, so I feel better.

QF: You recently got a nickname–Hykachu. What are your thoughts?

JH: I didn’t expect it; that’s a funny thing. The little kid, Alex, I gave him the shirt after the game, and he was very happy.

QF: Do you mind being called Hykachu?

JH: No, it’s no problem. It’s something funny. It’s no problem for me.

QF: Soccer in the United States is a summer sport, there are a lot of games that are played in the heat . . . has anyone ever talked to you about changing your game to be able to play more effectively in those kinds of weather conditions?

JH: We tried that in Houston, and I can say it was really hot. But I’ve also played before [in the heat]. Like in Albania, it’s also very hot in the summer, so I know how to play in this weather. Of course you must be smart, you have to save some energy.

QF: What do you think of Florian Jungwirth’s performance so far with the team?

JH: He’s very important for our team. Even [as] a defender, he’s doing a very good job . . . and he’s also helping us on offense. That speaks for him, and I’m happy for him because he’s a good friend of mine, and I hope he continues like that.

QF: The atmosphere of Avaya Stadium, the Ultras, what is your overall impression?

JH: I have to be honest . . . when I’m here, they have always been here for me. They’ve been cheering for me . . . and also for the team, so it’s a super atmosphere . . . they are super fans, and I hope they continue . . . to encourage us to win the games.

Interview with Chris Wondolowski

Chris Wondolowski on the attack versus the Portland Timbers at Avaya Stadium in May, 2017

QF: How would you evaluate the team’s rounding into form at this point in the season?

Wondo: You always want to get points, and I feel that we are starting to click in certain areas, and do a little bit of a better job. I know that we were putting a lot of pressure on ourselves since the goals weren’t coming early, but I think we are getting more understanding, and I think [the shots] are starting to find their way into the net.

QF: The win against Portland, was that something that galvanized the team as you go into these next few games?

Wondo: Yeah, it’s one of those things that kinda snowballs. The win against Minnesota was big, to get that road win . . .every game is going to be a battle and a different test, so it’s back to the drawing board against Colorado.

QF: You’re going to have three games coming up, two on the road. How do you prepare for that three game stretch with relatively little time [in between games]?

Wondo: I’m just thankful for how deep our team is. It’s definitely going to be put to the test, and we have great guys that can be coming off the bench . . . Look at last week: you got Simon (Dawkins), Nick Lima, Tommy Thompson, Fatai Alashe, some great guys that could be starting at any moment. I’m sure we’re going to be using them.

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