Oliver Larraz Interview: MLS Debut, 2020, and Being Held Accountable

Oliver Larraz

INTERVIEW – Oliver Larraz made his MLS debut at the last Colorado Rapids home game. He subbed on for captain Jack Price in the 90th minute of a 3-1 win over Houston Dynamo. Last week, he spoke to Last Word on Soccer about making his professional debut and the journey he took to get to it.

Oliver Larraz Interview: MLS Debut, 2020, and Accountability

On finding out about being in the gameday lineup, subbing in, and making his debut:

Yeah, I was going to be in the 18 the night before. That’s how we usually find out and yeah, pretty much just Saturday’s just, game day is a chill day. We obviously play at night, so just trying to get ready for the game, hydrate and all that. But then when it came to game time, it’s just a lot of excitement. And then obviously when I heard my name called, I just think one thing with my mind, just be ready to play pretty much. I got out there and then afterwards, obviously with the win as well as it was an awesome time. So all in all, really good weekend.

On whether he got any sleep Saturday night after the game:

It was hard to get to sleep.

On whether subbing into the game felt special or if he settled down once he got his first touch:

I think a little bit of both, like I was obviously there’s a lot of adrenaline pumping, but it’s a game no matter what situation. So I just focused on that and it kind of went by quickly and just tried to do the things that, you do day in, day out. So it didn’t feel too crazy in the moment. But then afterwards, looking back at it and all that, it was definitely, definitely a special moment.

On what captain Jack Price said to him before he subbed on for him:

He just give me a quick little “go get them” pretty much, which is super nice to hear from him. He’s obviously mentored me and that is a really good guy. So that was a nice little word.

On his relationship with the coaching staff and teammates given he is a Homegrown and so young:

I think it’s been I think I’m held to a very similar standard [to the veteran first team players], at least so far and from what I’ve noticed and that’s great. But I think that’s what makes this team special from the top dog down to us, young rookies, homegrowns. This is a very similar mindset and we’re great. So there’s the same expectations from everybody.

On coming back from Germany to train with the first team in 2020, leading to Robin Fraser wanting him signed for 20201:

It was crazy sometimes. The weirdest situations sometimes lead to the best opportunities. And that’s how 2020 was for me because of the amount of intra-squad games that were played. And I got a lot of minutes and I got to see me in game situations. And I think that trust was just built from there. That’s a situation that you want to see somebody in is a game situation. It was obviously a weird year, but it worked out for the best for me.

On his biggest area for improvement to get more playing time this year: 

It’s just getting adjusted to the league and the physicality of it more than anything, and it was pretty obvious just coming into the game, it’s not so much like being a bigger player. It’s just knowing how to use your body when you use your body, things like that. But there’s definitely a lot of aspects that need to be worked on. But just obviously going from academy to a pro setting, that’s the most obvious thing that is different.

On what he’s done with his game worn jersey:

I got all the guys to sign it to remember the team that was there for my first professional game, and then I’ll definitely be framed in that and put it up. And it was definitely a special moment. I’ve been looking looking towards my whole life. So that was nice of the team to do that.

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