Player Profile: Matt Nigro
After being knocked out of the Regional Finals in 2017, FC Motown came back with fury and carved a path through the national playoffs, finishing in the Final, facing Miami FC 2. Of course, the story didn’t have a happy ending for FC Motown, as they were beaten 3-1. But the season was a success by any measure and the club had to credit much of that success to the great play of 2018 NPSL Golden Ball winner Matt Nigro. Nigro had an amazing statistical season for FC Motown, finishing the season with 7 goals and 12 assists. We sat down with Matt to discuss his success last season, his plans for this season, and what he’s working on to be ready to shine in 2019.
So describe your game for those that have never seen you play.
I believe I am a very simple player who has built a game around hard work. I am constantly working for the entire 90 and can get up and join the attack as well as help out defensively. I show a bit of flair and personality at the right times in games because you have to enjoy the beautiful game. I believe in technique and I try to keep myself sharp with constant technical, finishing, and passing work.
Your social media is full of references to European soccer, which clubs/players do you follow?
I am a massive Manchester United fan. But I enjoy following a lot of players that have their own style and stand out a bit on the field. The list can go on forever but a couple of players would be Pogba, Rashford, Rooney, Thiago Alcantara, Beckham, etc.
Do you model your game after any particular player?
I am a really big David Beckham fan. I think what he has been able to accomplish on the field is extremely impressive. He made himself into a pro by focusing on fitness, touch, and technique more so than anything else. I like to think my range of passing is similar to his but i still have a way to go on the free kicks.
You had a very successful year in 2018, earning the Golden Ball, looking back, what stands out from last season?
I think the thing that stands out for me was how talented that team was. We had guys that deserved to play at the next level but there is no system to help them get there. The players in the locker room were incredible guys both on and off the field and it showed on the field. The club in general is ran by Scott and Dan who are two great guys to be around and they do everything for their players benefit. Knowing they are in charge makes you want to win games for them to repay them for all of the hard work they do.
What have you worked on, skill-wise, to make 2019 even greater?
I actually work and train at a facility called Advanced Physical and Technical Training, we train multiple pros in the offseason from MLS, USL, NWSL, and overseas. It is an extremely competitive environment and one that gets me to my peak fitness before any season. I am always looking for extra technical drills and trainings to continue to develop on the field but also mentally. Everyone has a skill or gift but its the players that separate themselves in the mental capacity that propel themselves to the next level.
What are your goals for this season?
Personally I try to help the team as much as I can. I set my own goals before the season and try to hit a certain number of goals and assists but for me team achievements come first. I would like to get back to the final and have another shot the championship, and with the talent around me in that team you never know what the future holds.
Founders Cup has dominated lower league news lately, as a player in the league, how do you see the new professional level?
I think the league has a good foundation to build. But a league is only as good as its fans. In order for this to grow the fans have to support and get behind their teams to push the whole league to the next level. When players are willing to fight for every point and not take a second off, the fans will pour in to see that passion.
What are your long term goals in the game?
I was fortunate enough to play professionally at multiple prestigious clubs and play with some greats such as Didier Drogba, Guiseppe Rossi, and Sean Wright-Philips. My goal is to continue to work with player to help them achieve what I was able to. I am currently the Technical Director at AP2T and I am fortunate enough to impact young players lives and help them enjoy the game with a smile on their face.
Chips Ahoy - Original or Chewy?
Original, but microwave it for 10 seconds.
What music are you listening to lately?
My music is all over the place. The shuffle can start at Darius Rucker, switch to Drake, then finish with some Billy Joel. I can listen to anything and love music to help relax!