The rumors all came true yesterday when Sporting Kansas City announce the signing of Antonio Rodriguez Dovale. He goes by the name of Toni and will wear number 9 for Sporting KC.
Toni was kind enough to talk after his first practice with the team. At first SKC staff was working on bringing out a translator but Toni declined, he wanted to work on his English and wanted to get better right away. While not perfect, his English is already pretty good.
Question: What made you decide to come to Kansas City?
Toni: To know the team has been following me since some seasons ago was very important for me. It means they know how is my football, they know my qualities and I think that is a really important reason to me to come here.
Q: Do you know the league?
Toni: MLS is growing so fast, so very quickly and there are many great players in this league and obviously in the champions team that is Sporting Kansas City. I know there are some great players and it is a pleasure for me to be part of this great family and excited to play with them.
Q: What is your impression of Sporting KC from your practice today?
Toni: Some great players, their rhythm is really high, high intensity. It's some different than Spain, here the rhythm is really, really high. That is also good for me, for my growing. I am in a place where I can grow and become a better player every day.
Q: Did you speak to Uri?
Toni: Talked with Uri about team and city. It is always good to have a team mate that was born in the dame country. But not only him, I am trying to improve my English, I think it is very important to understand what the coach say, what the team mates say and I can be more close to them. Sometimes language is a wall and I am trying to improve my English because that will be important for me to get a good performance.
Q: Ready to get started?
Toni: I was without training for one week and a half because of papers with visa and other things that don't let me travel before. And now I am training hard to be in my best condition to help with team.
Q: Can you describe what type of player you are and position?
Toni: I can play many different attacking positions, I can play a wing, I can play inside, I can fill many positions in coaches system and my attitude and my predisposition is to play where the coach needs me and where is not that important to me. Most important is to get in my best condition, to get my 100 percent and to try to get in the team. To try to help the team in the field in the position the coach prefers. I am an offensive player and I live soccer so I can play many different positions.
Q: I saw reports that listed you as a left outside back.
Toni: It was a strange situation and it is not common so no, that is not my best position.
Q: Left side?
Toni: I am more comfortable on the right side because I am left foot and that makes me more dangerous for the other team.
Q: Was the reason for leaving Celta Vigo to get more playing time?
Toni: Obviously, that is what every player wants. I have been an important player in Celta Vigo until a couple months ago and that I why I decide to change my team. I was playing for Celta Vigo for seven seasons, five as a professional player and I think it is a good moment to make a change. Fortunately Sporting Kansas City show a big interest in me and I feel so happy, it is amazing for me to be here.
What every player wants is to play as many games as possible, that is our world, our passion, our profession and that is what we want.