by Ursula Rogers/Diego Donamaria
We got to spend a few minutes with Austin FCs defensive player, Nick Lima (#24) during the annual C4 Energy Fan Experience at the gorgeous Q2 Stadium this week.
Austin 101: So last week, I heard there was an hour and a half rain delay, what did you and the team during that time?
Lima: I think when there’s a rain delay, you first start off by asking ‘how soon can we get back on the field?’ Luckily there were other games going on around the leagues. I remember the NHL playoff was going on as well, so I watched that, then we tried to get as much water, and a little bit of food in us as before we go back on.
Austin 101: When you’re not feeling motivated, you’re feeling tired, or a little sluggish, are there things that you do to give yourself energy or to motivate yourself?
Lima: There are a lot of things that I can do to give myself energy when maybe I’m not feeling it. C4 Energy drink has been one of those things. And then also, just tell myself to figure it out, man.
Austin 101: What music do you listen to during a workout or before a game to get yourself pumped up?
Lima: When I do listen to music during those times ,it’s 60s and 70s rock. That’s what I grew up listening to in my dad’s car. I’ll never forget all those records and that’s kind of where the heart lies.
Austin 101: Who is your biggest influence?
Lima: My brothers and dad were in the military where work ethic and hard work are extremely important. Honestly what they’ve done… they’re all in special operations. My dad is my biggest influence. It’s just, do what you love and never make an excuse for it. Growing up I was held to a very high standard and was encouraged to work hard towards my dreams. Weak efforts were not acceptable so I grew up in a culture that pushed me to keep trying to constantly improve. He embodied these traits and provided a clear example to follow.
Austin 101: Who influenced you, who is your hero on the field?
Lima: When I grew up? Well, it was Cristiano Ronaldo. His work ethic and his dedication to the game and to learning new techniques.
Austin 101: What do you think of Messi entering the league?
Lima: I think Messi is the best player in the world. It’s gonna be pretty exciting for this league and will have a profound impact on the MLS league in terms of recognition, and the interest that this will generate for other top players. We can talk about what he’s done already for the game, and for the valuation of his current club PSG and for the fans, who adore him and for Miami- he almost doubled the value of the club and he hasn’t stepped foot in the locker room. He didn’t take the $1.4B offer from the Saudi team (Al Hilal) but that would have opened up new opportunities to own a team or have more influence in the sport.
Austin 101: What do you think of the rise in the popularity of soccer/the MLS in the U.S.?
Lima: I’m excited about how much the league has grown, the level of play that the teams are displaying, and how much the fans have embraced the sport. Our team is making important changes to the on-the-field strategy to get back to the performance we displayed last year. We have great players and the team needs to continue working hard and playing at a high-level.
Austin 101: What is your favorite Austin food or restaurant?
Lima: I love Valentina’s BBQ and Suerte in East Austin.