After his 45 minute appearance in Tuesday’s reserve match against Montreal, Indonesian guest player Andik Vermansyah settled in for his first day of training with D.C. United on Wednesday. After the session, we caught up with one of Southeast Asia’s most talented young players.
dcunited.com: Andik, welcome to Washington. How has your ‘American experience’ been thus far?
Andik Vermansyah: I’ve been amazed. Really, I’m most impressed with how everything is so clean and everything is arranged properly compared to Jakarta, where there is so much traffic and roads are all over the place. Everything here has been very well planned and is very well organized.
dcunited.com: You aren’t the biggest player, and MLS is known as a very physical league. How have you adjusted to the playing style here?
AV: I’m really confident but I know I will have to work hard to do well. I know there is lots of room for me to improve. With regards to the physical aspect of MLS, this is something I’ve always dealt with. As a little kid I was always playing with the big guys, so I feel confident. One of my strengths is my speed, so I think this can help me overcome the challenge of playing with bigger players.
dcunited.com: You quite famously carry the nickname of ‘Indonesian Messi’. Does this put more pressure on you as a player?
AV: I appreciate the nickname, but I’m not Messi. Only Messi is Messi. I am me, a different player, but I appreciate that comparison.
dcunited.com: What are some of the more important things you hope to take away from this trip?
AV: I want to learn everything, from the small things like warm-ups to the big things like strategy. Even how they eat here is amazing, and I see that the food you eat is quite important. I want to learn as much as I can and hopefully bring it all back to Jakarta and Indonesia and share with my fellow players there. I know this will make me become a better player.