Greeting: Welcome back to On The Hot Seat, Today I had the honor of interviewing Orlando City Soccer Club player Matt Luzunaris. Matt began his soccer career in Australia where he played for SC Schwanenstadt until the team folded in 2008 from there he spent his time playing SC Weiner Neustadt and Rapid Wein II before finding himself playing for the San Jose Earthquakes in the MLS. This past year the Earthquakes released Matt and he is now currently signed with Orlando City of the USL Pro League. Please follow Matt on Twitter and also keep up with OTHS Interviews on twitter also.
Justin Godsey: Tell us how did you get into playing Soccer ?
Matt Luzunaris: My mom wanted to keep us off the streets and keep us out of trouble, so she figured because soccer was so time consuming that would be the best sport for my brother and I to play. I then fell in love with the sport.
Justin Godsey: You were born in Margate Florida is Margate a big Soccer city in Florida?
Matt Luzunaris: I was born in Margate,FL but didnt grow up there. I grew up in Boca Raton,FL which is literally the next city and yes soccer was huge growing up. The youth rec teams and travel teams were growing each year.
Justin Godsey: Through out your childhood what Soccer player did you grow up admiring?
Matt Luzunaris: To be honest as weird as this sounds I didnt look up to any players. I never really watched it on tv or live professional games. I was to busy being active outside and always doing something.
Justin Godsey: Lets leap into your HS Soccer Career tell us about you playing Soccer in High School?
Matt Luzunaris: Well My freshmen year of HS I played in boca at Olympic Heights High where I was a starter, I then moved to West Boca High for my sophomore year where I was also a starter and captain but was tough because we were a new school. My junior and senior year I went to a boarding school in Rome, GA called Darlington School which had a soccer academy at it where we played college teams in their preseasons and travelled throughout the country to play in tournaments.
Justin Godsey: After High School you trained with New Castle United in England how did the trainers and coaches there help you step your game to a higher point ?
Matt Luzunaris: Man playing in England is every kids dream I would imagine, it was and still is for sure mine! But training with those guys and around the trainers was a real special treat, and I will never forget that short training stint there. The pace of the game, ball movement, mentality to go forward, and just the itch to score there really taught me the key components of being a player as a whole and of course being a dominant striker in the game.
Justin Godsey: From England you returned back to the United States and attended college at Central Florida and won the FYSA State Cup how did that feel return and win a collegiate championship ?
Matt Luzunaris: The state cup I won was before I attended college and of course that was a great accomplishment in my youth career and will never forget the times I had with my teammates. As for playing at UCF I only attended and played the first semester of my Freshmen year. I feel I had a good first season there and got what I needed to move onto the next level, that is when I decided to leave school and head overseas to Austria to sign a professional contract.
Justin Godsey: After 1 year at Central Florida you decided to go pro at any point did you want to return to CF or did you wanna jump right into your Pro Career?
Matt Luzunaris: I never regretted leaving school! I made sure that when I made that decision I promised myself I was going to fulfill this dream the fullest and make something of myself. I can always return to school sometime within the next couple years.
Justin Godsey: In 2008, Your pro career began you signed with SC Schwanenstadt when you signed what was on your mind.
Matt Luzunaris: Obviously signing your first pro contract your ecstatic and want to do so many things, but in reality you have to learn. There are a very very few Ronaldos and Messi’s in the world and for all us other humans we must work extremely hard to be successful and in the end some of us aren’t. Im still learning the game but I know with everywhere I have played I have become a much better player each time.
Justin Godsey: For the next 3 years you played Soccer for SV Wienerberg tell us about your 3 yr. tenure with the team
Matt Luzunaris: I didnt get many chances to play at SC Magna Wiener Neustadt but the opportunities to play else where arouse and I did well when I got the chance.
Justin Godsey: Last year on March 25th 2011, The San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) gave you a call and wanted you to play on there team tell us about the phone call and what was your reaction.
Matt Luzunaris: I was very excited and extremely thankful that they were willing to give me this chance to come out there.
Justin Godsey: On April 9th you debuted for the Earthquakes tell us about that day you debuted against Toronto FC ?
Matt Luzunaris: On my debut I didnt come in with much time left, but regardless of the game or the time its always super exciting to make you first appearance for your new club.
Justin Godsey: Last July you returned home to Flordia to play for Orlando City how excited were you to come home to Florida
Matt Luzunaris: I can tell you that was one of the best chances in my whole career! I was soo excited to be back home, and playing for that matter. The club here is an awesome organization and the fans are incredible
Justin Godsey: In your 1st 2 games of the season you scored goals in both games how complicated is it scoring in Soccer.
Matt Luzunaris: To score in soccer is never easy, but when you have a good team behind you who can play you the best balls then it is very easy when you have that.
Justin Godsey: In December you signed with Orlando not as a loan player but a roster player do you have any thought on making your way back to MLS or any other big teams?
Matt Luzunaris: I am just concentrating on what is in front of me at the moment. The past years I have worried about the future always, but now its time to enjoy the present and just do my job and enjoy playing! That is the most important thing.
Justin Godsey: Lets leave our readers off with this what can we look forward to seeing from Matt Luzunaris in 2012 and beyond?
Matt Luzunaris: All i can say for 2012 and beyond is im going to put my head down and just score and do well! Im going to prove to all the Nay sayers its time to shush up and watch!