HOUSTON – No one expected Charlotte FC midfielder, Quinn McNeill, to get the start in what was considered by many a must win game. But McNeill took his opportunity and ran with it, putting in an almost spotless performance in the 60 minutes he played against the Houston Dynamo.
“There was a lot of resilience from the boys tonight. It’s very hot out here, and for us to get our first road win out here it took a lot and a strong mentality to get that done. So, a credit to everyone that came on, the guys that started the game and finished it. So a huge three points for us and we look to go again.”
It was only a little over a week ago that McNeill made his MLS debut. But it’s been a smooth transition for McNeill who credits interim head coach Christian Lattanzio and the coaching staff for helping prepare him for the league.
“The pace is definitely a little quicker and the physicality is higher but I kind of just take the same approach to every game. Prep myself mentally and through that week of training, really take in as much tactics as possible to really smooth that transition.
“So, knowing what I’m going to do with it and kind of working through those patterns of play really help me just to understand so when I step into nothing feels really unfamiliar.”
“...Lattanzio has obviously trusted me and in training has really worked with me so credit to him and the rest of the coaching staff for really working with me and smoothing that transition.”
But the coaching staff can’t take all the credit, it takes a strong mentality to come into a hostile environment only having played a limited amount of MLS minutes, and perform at a high level – but according to McNeill a strong mentality is his biggest strength.
“I think first and foremost I just have a great mentality kind of looking at everything. Taking each game, and each opportunity as it comes. Something I really pride myself on is being really professional in whatever comes my way, good or bad, take it on the chin and do my best with it, and never really complain. I think that kind of shows the character and the people that believe in me.”
The whole team has been very supportive of McNeill on and off the pitch, and he was quick to recognize that he wouldn’t be in the position he is by himself.
“The support ranges from everyone behind me and around me. I could never do it by myself really. Like I said it was a collective effort tonight to get that done. The guys came in and did brilliant, Andre came in and scored the winner. So, it’s really a credit to the whole team, those guys all supported me along the way for my first start.”