Following Wednesday’s training session, atlantasilverbacksfc.com sat down with Silverbacks central midfielder Milton Blanco. The Fresno, California native is leading the NASL in assists with two and scored his first goal of the season last weekend.
ASFC: What was it like to score your first goal of the season on your birthday?
BLANCO: I’m happy I scored on my birthday, but I’m disappointed that we lost, so it was a bittersweet feeling.
ASFC: After practice, you guys keep working and conditioning. How does that help your game?
BLANCO: I’m in a lot better shape than I was last year. I’ve dropped 15 pounds from last season and I’m a lot stronger now. I work a lot with the body weights after practice and try to stay as healthy as possible. One thing too, I’ve gotten a lot better at the way I talk to my teammates. On the field, we have to fight for each other and I feel the closer we are, the more we will fight for each other.
ASFC: What do you do when you’re not practicing?
BLANCO: We have our routine after practice. We go to the gym and we head home to cook a little bit. We’ve been bowling a lot recently. I’m definitely not the best, but I have been beating Beto [Navarro] and Mark [Bloom] lately. We‘ve also gone to a couple Hawks games.
ASFC: How do you like living in the city of Atlanta?
BLANCO: I love it. Everybody is good to us. The players, staff, and fans have really helped me out a lot. They’re a like a family here.
ASFC: Have you been watching any of the games in the UEFA Champions League?
BLANCO: I love soccer, so even when I am away from practice, I watch a lot of games and try to study and emulate the players that I like. Today, I’m going to watch Barcelona play against Bayern Munich.
ASFC: Who is your favorite player or the player you like to emulate the most?
BLANCO: Andres Iniesta.
ASFC: Who do you want to win the Champions League final?
BLANCO: Barcelona is my favorite team, so I would want them to win, but I find it tough for them to go through.
ASFC: They are looking at a 4-0 aggregate to overcome. If not them, who is your second team to win it?
BLANCO: If it’s Bayern Munich versus Borussia Dortmund, then I would want Dortmund to win. They’re a young team, they work hard and work for each other, and I like the way they play. Definitely going for them, if Barcelona does not go through.
ASFC: They are definitely a team that don’t have the big name players…
BLANCO: They’re a very young team, and people know them now. They definitely don’t have a Cristiano Ronaldo or a Lionel Messi, but I’m definitely going for them. Their players work for each other.