404 THE BEAT EXCLUSIVE: Interview with ATL UTD 2’s Forward/Midfielder Jon Gallagher
Photo: @atlutd2 instagram
By. Andrew Rodberg
Coming fresh off of his first professional goal, Jon and the ATLUTD 2 team came out victorious in their inaugural game. I was able to catch up with Jon and check in on him and the club. In an exclusive 404 THE BEAT interview, I asked Jon a few questions about life in and out of soccer.
Name: John Gallagher
Being born in Ireland, what team was your favorite growing up? Favorite team growing up was Manchester United
At what point did you realize you had a shot at getting picked up in the MLS SuperDraft? I probably realized I had a chance after my freshman year. I had a good season but knew that if I kept improving the opportunity would be there.
How did you feel when Atlanta was the ones to give you that chance with the 14th overall pick? Being drafted by Atlanta was incredible, one of the best moments in my life. I had worked so hard to get to that moment so I was truly grateful for Atlanta taking a chance on me.
What were your emotions when you finally realized you were a professional soccer player? Being a pro is the lifestyle I’ve always wanted. It’s nice knowing that your job is playing the sport you love.
I know you played 4 years at Notre Dame, what is the biggest difference from college to MLS that you’ve seen first hand? The biggest difference is the speed of the game. You have less time on the ball so you have to make decisions quickly and be very clean with your technique.
Do you have any new approaches to the game as you move up or do you trying to be pretty consistent over the ranks? In terms of new approaches, one of my main focal points is being consistent everyday. This is the professional game so I have to be mentally tuned in for every training and game.
What was the first thing that popped in your head when you scored your first goal for ATL UTD 2? I always try to visualize myself scoring right before I take a penalty so it just felt natural once it hit the back of the net. From there it was just excitement and joy celebrating with the fans and my teammates.
Clip of his 1st professional goal: (1:00 mark) fw.to/w8mYYEI
Photo: @atlutd2 instagram
What do you do in your offseason? My offseason I usually try to visit my girlfriend or family, but I make sure I’m training. I love using the off-season as a time to get better so I’m usually training twice a day to ensure I come back better next season.
What goals do you have for this upcoming season? My goals for this season are to play consistently and to help my team in whatever way possible. My goal is to bring the best to every game and training.
What kinds of things do you do in your free time away from soccer? Free time usually consists of hanging out with friends, reading, watching soccer, exploring the city or maybe golfing but I’m yet to find a course in Atlanta.
What do you enjoy most about being in the ATL organization? I enjoy the professionalism. Everything about the club is what you dream of… the facilities, the fans, the stadium. Everything about this club is next level.
Tell us a fun fact that a normal fan wouldn’t know about you. I’ve lived in 5 countries.
Have anything you want to say to your fans and ATL? To the Atlanta fans: keep doing you. Nobody’s support in this league can compare. You blow us away every time we play in front of you and we are extremely grateful for that.