Patrick Mullins and Jalen Robinson had a couple of days to acclimatize to their new offseason home at Swansea A.F.C. The pair had to battle jet lag and the Welsh climate but their spirits were high as they joined the English Premier League side in the middle of the Swans’ dense December schedule.
Both players talked about the goals they hoped to accomplish in Wales with each expressing the desire to maintain match fitness and see football (they were culturally coerced into switching the term from soccer) in a new light.
“Team training was a goal that I wanted to accomplish this offseason and not just focus solely on individual training,” said forward Patrick Mullins. “I approached Ben [Olsen] and Dave [Kasper] to see about the possibility of heading to Swansea because of the connection between our two teams. They helped make it happen and I am fortunate for the the opportunity to continue my offseason training in Wales.”
Robinson recognized the importance of rediscovering the passion and hunger for the game after a long regular season. The 23-year-old plans to use the trip as a tool to continue learning and developing after an impressive season for the young Black-and-Red center back.
“It keeps you fit and pushes your development because you are taking in so much information in such a short period of time,” said Robinson. “It helps bring back that flame and desire to just have a ball at your feet. It's contagious being around good football with players that are hungry to get better and it's nice to just play and compete again.”
Mullins also discussed his thirst for continuing his soccer education and using this experience to add a different dimension to his game in the States.
“The training at a Premier League club will definitely help fine-tune aspects of my game. But almost more importantly, I want to continue my soccer education,” said 2017 United Golden Boot winner Mullins. “I want to experience the day-to-day approach at a club like Swansea. I think the best way to do that is to get in there, train, discuss and learn from everyone at the club."
Mullins and Robinson are both taking advantage of a great opportunity to learn from Premier League quality players and staff. As the 2018 MLS regular season creeps closer to reality, fans will be optimistic that the offseason experience will benefit both players as the team plan to hit the ground running next season.
“I want to take my game to the next level and this is a great environment to do so,” said Robinson. “I just want to be a student of the game and take in as much knowledge as I can. Anything that can help me become a better footballer.”