Andrew DiCicco Diary
Feb. 7, 2008
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Former Aztec four-time letterwinner and current director of soccer operations Andrew DiCicco recently began a try-out period with Major League Soccer's Kansas City Wizards. DiCicco, a 2006 all-Pac-10 selection, will write his thoughts on playing soccer at the professional level in an ongoing blog that will be featured here on GoAztecs.com.
Feb. 7 - Today was my first day with the Kansas City Wizards. Despite the fact that we didn't step on the soccer pitch it was an eventful and exciting day. After landing in KC, we drove to the Wizard's training center and locker room where we got a tour of the facilities and met players and staff. Even from this brief, initial encounter the staff, facility, and players exuded a professionalism that immediately convinced me that this organization was everything I expected and more from a professional soccer team. I'm already hooked...
It's the end of the first week in Kansas City. Tomorrow we leave for Bradenton, Fla., for two more weeks of preseason training. My suspicions came to fruition over the past week. This team trains with a purposeful intensity and the staff brings their young players along in a positive yet demanding manner. Adjusting to the speed of play is a difficult challenge, but every clean touch builds confidence and experience. It is this additional experience that I must utilize throughout training camp as I gain knowledge and understanding that can facilitate my success in the professional game. Despite the growing pains, it is amazingly fun to play soccer with the Wizards because there are such high-caliber players.
Aside from life on the soccer field, being a rookie is comparable to entering any business at an entry level where you are on the low end of the totem pole. There are many responsibilities that seem unpleasant but we (rookies) must take them seriously because they are included in our job description. Personally, I take pride in these tedious tasks because I know that as mundane as they appear, they are helping our team prepare for a successful campaign in the MLS in 2008. Anyway, it was a challenging first week, but it was also a great learning experience and tomorrow we head to some sunnier, warmer weather in Florida. Down at IMG Academies in Bradenton we'll be training and playing games against the U-18 National Team, Columbus Crew, DC United, and others so it is important that my development continues both on and off the pitch.