March 8, 2017 at Sylvan Lake Park

Availability: DF Tommy Redding

DF Tommy Redding

Redding was a part of the Untied States U-20 men’s national team that won gold in the U-20 CONCACAF Tournament.

I think it was an amazing experience. Always getting to play with the national team is a great opportunity. And going out there and achieving goal we set was great. So, it was a great time.

When asked about the expectations from coaches now that he’s back, Redding said it was good just to be back with the team.

It’s great to be back. Finally back home after being away for a couple weeks. Being around the guys again is gonna be great. Haven’t really spoken with the coaches, but I’m just looking forward to coming back and working back into the team.

Redding said it was difficult missing the opening of the new stadium.

A little bit. I’ve been looking forward to the stadium opening, and I haven’t seen it yet complete. So, that first time is gonna be so amazing for me.

When asked about what he’s bringing back from his national-team experience, Redding said it’s about confidence.

I think the big thing for me is I’m bringing back a lot of confidence. After a great tournament with the team, I think all of us are confident. So, all of us going back to our clubs and where we’re from, we’re all carrying a lot of confidence, and that’s good for all of us.

Redding is seen as more of a vocal leader on the U-20 USMNT.

I think every year I’ve gotten more and more comfortable speaking with the guys, telling them where they need to be on the field. And just learning from them has been a great experience, and coming back from being sort of captain on that team, coming back into the learning process, I’m still gonna be able to have opinions and talk to people about where they should be on the field.

Orlando City SC team captain Ricardo Kaká went down with a hamstring injury in the 10th minute of the Lions’ 1-0 win over New York City FC.

Obviously Kaká is a great player, and he’s a really important part of our team, but I don’t think we should focus on missing a beat without him. I think we have great players. Everybody’s a great player, so whoever’s gonna step in is gonna play great.

City lost its team captain for an extended period of time last season, too.

I think it’s something that we’ve experienced, so, like you said, we’re gonna learn from it. We’ve had experience with it, so I think we’ll be perfectly fine.

When asked what he thought the significance of winning gold was, Redding said it was fulfilling because of the commitment that forced him to miss preseason.

We were working the past three months together, and I’ve missed all preseason here with Orlando, so it’s a big commitment. But getting the gold was an amazing feeling. I can’t really explain it, but it was just a dream come true.

When asked about what he saw was different with the new back-line, Redding said he saw the whole team play with a hunger.

I think the biggest thing is just all 11 guys on the field were hungry to get the ball and play defense really well. And I think that’s a really big thing in this league and in soccer in general. So that was a really good thing to see.

When asked about integrating back into the team, Redding said it’s will be different.

I think it’s gonna be different. I met Jonathan [Spector] for a couple days before I left, but it’s definitely a different group, but I’m just looking forward to getting back in with all the guys and meeting the new guys.

When asked if he’s okay playing right-back, Redding said he’ll play anywhere the coaches ask him to.

I’ll play wherever the coach wants me to.

I think it’s a really different position. The right-back, you have more freedom to go forward, but also it’s a lot more running. Center-back is more of just—you position everyone. You can see the whole field. At center-back, I think you should be more vocal, and, right-back, you just have more freedom to go forward.