After defecting from the Cuban national team in 2015, then playing in the NPSL, Dario Suarez is ready to take the next step in his soccer career in the United States.
As the MLS Cup playoffs edge closer to their climax, teams are already eyeing talent for next season overseas, in the NCAA, and through combines across the country. One player set to showcase his skills for MLS, and USL, clubs at the inaugural Midwest Pro Combine will be Dario Suarez, a former member of the Cuban national team.
Suarez spent his first season in the United States playing with AFC Ann Arbor, a team in the developmental NPSL. The Cuban winger had six goals and seven assists in only 12 matches. I was able to speak to Super Dario ahead of next month’s combine for his thoughts on his first season, his skill set, and his message to a prospective team.
Playing For 90: You spent last season in the NPSL with AFC Ann Arbor. How would you describe your first season of soccer in the United States?
Dario Suarez: It was a spectacular season, although we did not get the trophy. I had several goals and assists to help the offense of Ann Arbor. I made a very good impression. The relationship with the fans, I never expected to receive so much affection in that city. I have made very good friends, all thanks to soccer. And the best was many children shouted to me, “Super Dario” and I saw in their faces the happiness to see me play every game. I am very grateful to everyone in Ann Arbor.
PF90: Playing for a club in Michigan, you dealt with some chilly weather. Are you ready to play anywhere at the next level no matter the temperature?
Suarez: Since I stayed here in the USA, I came with the mentality to play as a professional, and I will do it anywhere that gives me the opportunity to show all my talent
PF90: With the combine coming up, what do you want to showcase?
Suarez: In these games, I want to let you see the type of player that I have become and enjoy the opportunities a lot. When playing with pressure to achieve goals, you can fail for that reason, but I love to laugh and have as much fun as a child in each game, while giving my greatest effort.
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PF90: How will your international experience help you with the next step in domestic soccer?
Suarez: It will help me a lot, so I will not have to spend so much to adapt to playing good games. When you play internationally, you accumulate a lot of experiences that help you understand the game in a simpler way.
PF90: What is on Super Dario’s pregame playlist?
Suarez: Before the matches I always listen to Cuban music especially reggaeton that motivates me a lot. Gente de Zona is one of my favorite groups among others.
PF90: Speaking of Cuba, how often do you get to speak to your family back home?
Suarez: I speak every week with them. It’s very important to me, they are a source of inspiration.
PF90: Lastly, what would you like to say to a team that could potentially sign you?
Suarez: I would tell him that this guy will lay his life on the line, each day, representing the colors of the team that will help him fulfill his dream of playing professionally.