When Edwin Mosquera was first rumored to be joining the Five Stripes, several fans were curious as to how he’d fit in given the more established players on the roster. Many probably had never even heard his name before. But when he steps out on the field, he’s beginning to show signs of promise and was even close to scoring his first goal for the team against Columbus.
While he is the club’s first Colombian player, he isn’t the first Colombian in MLS. Many of his compatriots, such as Chicho Arango at LAFC and recently arrived Cucho Hernandez with the Crew, have been tearing up the league and boosting their respective teams up the standings. Wait, why do all of these Colombian players get cool nicknames? Maybe we should come up with one for Edwin… just food for thought.
Dirty South Soccer spoke with Mosquera to learn a little more about him, his career and what led him to Atlanta after the team’s win over DC United last week.
How did you start playing soccer?
“My story in soccer started through my uncle, who taught me because my mom didn’t like that I played, and he would always bring me along to play soccer with him.”
Who have you seen as a hero or idol throughout your life?
What made you decide to come to Atlanta?
“I had heard that Atlanta was a new, large club that was just starting out and that motivated me to come over.”
Did you have any expectations when you came here and are those expectations being met?
“Expectations? Not really. I was coming with the mentality that the team was excellent, that everything was great and it was exactly like that.”
What are your goals and aspirations while here in Atlanta?
“I want to win a championship and leave my mark on this team.”
Have you gotten along well with your teammates? Have you developed any particular friendships?
“Yes. I get along really well with everyone here, especially with Luiz [Araujo].”
How have you felt playing under Gonzalo Pineda?
“I came in to work, and I feel like I’ve been doing it well.”
When Pineda talks to you, what does he tell you to work on for the most part?
“Right now, he tells me that I need to get forward more and score goals.”
Is the position you’re playing now your most comfortable position?
“I feel most comfortable at left wing, but if he [Pineda] needs me in another position – like I’ve told him before – I can do it.”
How does it feel to be the first Colombian player in Atlanta United history? Does that bring any added pressure?
“No pressure. It motivates me to work hard and open the door for more Colombians to come to MLS.”
Many young players come to MLS thinking of it as a stepping stone to Europe. Is that on your mind?
“Right now, my mind is here in Atlanta, but in some years I want to play in England.”
How are the fans here compared to some of the other leagues you’ve played in?
“I can’t compare them. They [fans in South America] live soccer in a different way and it’s respectable. It’s a bit more calm over here.”
Do you have a message for the fans?
“Keep supporting us. We’re going to make the playoffs.”