Erik Hurtado’s happy-go-lucky demeanour possibly betrays the fact he’s Montreal’s most experienced MLS player, but there’s certainly a serious side to the club’s new attacker.
He was delighted to get things off and running on a positive note Saturday contributing an assist to Djordje Mihailovic’s goal as Toronto FC were downed 4-2 in the season-opener.
Smiling, Hurtado claimed it felt better beating Toronto as a Montreal player than it did as one from Vancouver and is looking forward optimistically to the season.
“Felt really good to make my debut especially in a 4-2 win. It was hot out there but we all pushed through it. I feel the team chemistry improves each day and I’m really excited for what’s going to come over the next few weeks and the upcoming season. I think we’re getting really good, really fast.”
Life so far in Florida has been going well. Erik has managed to find a place with his girlfriend and young son, and despite pleasant surroundings remains determined to stay committed to why he's there.
“I think everyone’s very comfortable down here right now, we got the sunshine, we’re pretty close to the beach and of course we just have to stay focused.
“Which means on our pre-season, training, recovery, eating properly and hydration.
“We haven’t really had too much time to go off and do our own thing. Personally I was able to go and get a spot with my family, so it was nice to get away these last couple of days after we started the season.”
Asked if he’d ever partnered another striker quite as tall as Bjorn Johnsen, after a few seconds thought the name Blas Perez emerged... “Blas is about 6 feet 3, very lanky and could cover a lot of ground.
“But Bjorn and I, we’ve been training together for the last few weeks now and have been paired up together. We’re trying to figure out how complement each other. I think the chemistry is growing and it’s good.”
Looking forward to the weekend game in Nashville where fans are likely to be present, Hurtado doesn’t expect their presence to affect how he prepares for the 90 minutes.
“Whether there are fans there or not, for me personally, I prepare for every game the same way. We’re going out there to play the game, we’re not going out to look at the fans. We have to focus on our job, and our job is to win the game!”
And we’ll all say, “Cheers!” to that....
Check out the latest, The Ball Is Round Podcast (Episode 25). Recorded Wednesday evening (14 April), the TBIR team discusses the CFM v TFC clash (with special guest Michael Singh of Waking The Red website, Montreal football issues of the week, their top three picks for per Conference, Concacaf Champions League & Canada’s WNT in the UK...
Plus all the usual favourite features... including, Eve’s Time Machine... Don’t miss it!
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