Exclusive Interview: Antony's Impact on the Portland Timbers and His Off-Field Challenges

Interview Reveals Brazilian Player's Challenges and Triumphs

Feb 24, 2024; Portland, Oregon, USA; Portland Timbers forward Antony (11) dribbles the ball against
Feb 24, 2024; Portland, Oregon, USA; Portland Timbers forward Antony (11) dribbles the ball against / Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

We at MLS Multiplex had the privilege of conducting an exclusive interview with Portland Timbers forward, Antony Alves. The player, whose brilliance on the soccer field has left MLS fans ecstatic, kindly shared with us his unique insights into the challenges, triumphs, and goals for the season.

From the outset of the interview, it was clear that Antony is not just a soccer player but also a dedicated and motivated family man. Addressing Portland Timbers' impressive victory over the Colorado Rapids, Antony revealed not only his satisfaction with the team's performance but also the importance of his new role as a father for the second time. His passion for the game is undeniable, but it is his devotion to family that propels him to new heights of excellence.

COL x POR. 4. 375. Final. 1. 368

Furthermore, Antony openly discussed his transition to MLS and his experience in Portland. Despite the inherent challenges of moving to a new country and league, he highlighted the importance of the club's support and his determination to adapt and thrive. His positive attitude and ability to overcome obstacles are truly inspiring.

One of the most exciting parts of the interview was when Antony shared his personal and professional journey. He discussed the challenges of balancing family commitments with the intensity of MLS training and games. His humility in attributing his success to his family and divine support is touching and reveals a depth of character rarely seen.

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When asked about his goals for the season, Antony demonstrated a mix of ambition and humility. He is determined to make this season the best of his career, both individually and collectively, aiming to reach the MLS playoffs with the Portland Timbers.

Antony's relationship with coach Phil Neville was also a focal point of the interview. He praised Neville's coaching ability and highlighted the confidence the coach instills in his players. This relationship of mutual respect and trust is key to both individual and collective success, and it is clear that Antony is determined to make the most of it.

As the interview drew to a close, it became evident that Antony is not just a talented player but also an example of determination, humility, and commitment. His story is an inspiration to all facing challenges in their lives and a powerful reminder that with hard work and dedication, anything is possible.

Feb 24, 2024; Portland, Oregon, USA; Portland Timbers forward Antony (11) controls the ball during
Feb 24, 2024; Portland, Oregon, USA; Portland Timbers forward Antony (11) controls the ball during / Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Read the full interview below:

Antony, you had an incredible performance in the Portland Timbers' impressive victory over the Colorado Rapids in the season opener, scoring two crucial goals. Can you tell us more about what it was like to be on the field at that moment and how you felt seeing your efforts significantly contribute to the team's positive result?

Starting the season with two goals, helping my teammates, and a great win in front of our fans was very remarkable, for sure. We worked hard in the preseason, the group is good, we are focused, and we hope to reap many rewards throughout the year.

It's interesting to note that you chose to spend the entire offseason in Portland. Can you share with us a bit more about how that decision was and how this unique experience of spending full-time in the city where you play impacted your preparation for the start of this season? Were there specific aspects of the local culture or club environment that you felt contributed to your growth as a player?

I arrived at the club with the season already in full swing, so the adaptation itself is a bit more difficult and requires a little more. This year, the scenario is different, and over the past few months, I have been feeling more and more adapted and prepared to perform both on and off the field. The club offers us all the possible structure, so it facilitates in this process.

As for the local culture, environment, and language, I would say everything influences. These are challenges that come to transform us and make us evolve not only as an athlete, player but also as a person. It has been a good experience.

You recently became a father for the second time, which is an exciting and significant occasion in anyone's life. I would like to know how it was for you to balance personal and family commitments, such as the birth of your son, with intense preparations for the season and, of course, your exceptional performance on the field. How did you manage to deal with these different aspects of life, and how did it influence your mentality and performance?

It's a moment of great joy, for me and for my family. We are very happy with Hendrick's arrival, and surely this is an extra fuel for my performance on the field. It's a huge motivation to play for my son and for the people I love.

At times, it's a bit complex to balance everything, but we have all the necessary support to balance personal and professional commitments. I can only thank God for everything; it has been very positive.

Moving to a new country and league can be a challenging transition for any player. You made this transition from FC Arouca in Portugal to MLS with the Portland Timbers. I would like to know more about your experience during this process. What were the most challenging aspects you faced in adapting to a new team, a new league, and a new country?

Environment, culture, weather, language, people, style of play, working methods, in short, there are several factors that influence, but as I said earlier, the experience has been very good. Each place has its peculiarities, but gradually we are adapting and managing to perform at a high level.

Coach Phil Neville praised your attitude and commitment to the game after the match against the Colorado Rapids. I would like to know more about your working relationship with him. How has your interaction with Coach Neville been, and in what ways do you feel he has positively impacted your performance and development as a player?

Phil is a very capable coach who gives us a lot of freedom and confidence to perform on the field. We have a positive relationship, and I want to continue learning from him to serve my teammates well.

Every new season brings new goals and aspirations. Can you share with us a bit about what your personal and collective goals are for this season with the Portland Timbers? Besides the traditional on-field performance goals, is there any specific aspect of your game that you are working to improve or any particular achievement you would like to accomplish this year? And in terms of collective goals, how do you see the potential of this team, and what are your hopes for the team's performance this season?

I believe the goal is to have a great season, qualify for the playoffs, and compete in the MLS playoffs. Feet on the ground, seriousness, a lot of work, and one step at a time. We are focused and will pursue our goals.

On a personal level, I want this to be the best season of my career, and may it be so in all the seasons to come. I had a positive start, scoring two goals, appearing in the Round's Best XI, now it's about maintaining it, with consistency and work, and naturally, collective and individual recognitions will come.

The season opener often serves as an indicator of what is to come for the rest of the year. Considering the convincing victory over the Colorado Rapids, how do you view the team's performance in this game in terms of establishing a pattern or a solid foundation for the rest of the season? Are there specific aspects of the game or team dynamics that you believe will be particularly important in maintaining success throughout the season?

It was a great team performance, but it is always good to remain calm in assessments; it's still too early to analyze. We have positive indicators from this first challenge, and we hope to continue this connection we had on the field. The team was compact, balanced between attack and defense, and assertive in seizing opportunities. It's a pattern we hope to repeat, always attentive to adjustments.