Javi Marquez: “To tell you the truth, it’s not exactly like La Liga in Spain.” (FrontRowSoccer.com Photo)
BROOKLYN — Javi Marquez is one happy camper these days.
Just ask him.
After he tallied the Cosmos’ lone goal in their 1-1 draw with Jacksonville Armada FC Saturday night, he sounded pretty chipper.
“I am very happy with … helping the team,” he said after the game at MCU Park. “We are happy accomplishing that and we are going step by step.”
The former La Liga midfielder also has been quite content living in one of the world’s greatest cities.
“I’m very happy to have a welcoming even though I have only been here for only a few weeks,” he said. “I am very happy. I love the city. My wife loves the city. That’s one of the reasons why I came to New York, to be happy, to enjoy. For now, I’m very happy.”
Come to think of it, so is head coach Giovanni Savarese, who has seen the qualities of the 30-year-old central midfielder emerge during the first month of the season, slowly, but surely.
“He’s getting fitter, he’s getting to know the players,” Savarese said Saturday night. “He’s getting to know the league. I know the quality is going to show. Tonight, you saw him, a lot of very good things besides scoring the goal. He gave us a fluidity of play. He was finding spaces going forward and he’s a quality player. We’re glad he’s with us and we’re glad that now he’s being able to get into the shape to be able to contribute.”
Marquez’s performances have not gone unnoticed by his teammates as well.
“He’s an experienced player,” midfielder Andres Flores said. “He has a very good left foot. And that adds a lot to the team, all his experience. The intensity with the way he plays. It’s a great add for us. Of course, I think he is going to do great in the next game.”
That would be against the San Francisco Deltas on the west coast Saturday night.
That game will be some nine time zones away from where Marquez played. In many respects, it is lightyears from what Marquez had been accustomed to while performing for Espanyol, Mallorca and Granada in the Spanish First Division.
And let’s face it. The North American Soccer League is far from being La Liga, which Marquez has already learned.
“I come from the best league in the world, La Liga, in Spain,” he said. “To tell you the truth, it’s not exactly like La Liga in Spain. I found very nice players, but I’m to compete. I’m trying to be humble. I have played many [games] in the first division in Spain. I am still trying to adapt here. I’m trying to be happy. I’m trying to play soccer in a new city, in a new country. I like this country a lot and I feel very happy to be here.”