FC Edmonton goalkeeper Tyson Farago arrived at preseason in the best shape of his career and is hoping to learn from this past North American Soccer League (NASL) season in hopes of securing consistent minutes between the posts.
Farago is entering his fourth season with FC Edmonton and the shot-stopper is looking to have a big impact in the squad this year. The Winnipeg, Man. product began preparing for the 2017 season long before preseason started, focusing on his nutrition and fitness during the offseason in hopes of giving himself the best chance possible to succeed.
“I have come in a lot fitter than I did last year,” Farago said. “I have completely revamped by physical attributes. I’ve slimmed down a lot and I’m a completely different Tyson than last year. I feel quicker, stronger and more agile. I have a lot of confidence on the ball and I’m looking to build on that this year.”
The 25-year-old looks to learn from his three starts in 2016, which came in the back-end of the season. Farago played against the likes of Miami F.C, Minnesota United F.C and Fort Lauderdale Strikers, describing his performances as a great learning experience.
“It’s something to build on, for sure,” Farago said. “I watched the tapes to learn where to improve and its definitely encouraging to get in there and to continue playing against top opposition. I enjoyed every second of it and I’m looking forward to more.”
Farago has had the opportunity to learn from two past NASL Golden Glove winners in Matt VanOekel and John Smits, and now has the chance to learn from seasoned veteran Chris Konopka. Signing with FC Edmonton in the offseason, Konopka comes with tons of experience as a starter for Toronto FC and winning cups in Scotland and Ireland.
“Chris is a great addition,” Farago said. “We are looking forward to pushing each other to become better. He’s an experienced goalkeeper who has been around so I’m looking to learn from him like I did with the last goalkeepers.”
With tough competition for one starting spot, Farago believes the competition will only help each goalkeeper in their development. The shot-stopper has also set personal goals for himself in order to continue to improve and develop into a potential starter for the Eddies.
“I want to push Nathan [Ingham] and Chris [Konopka] for that starting spot,” Farago said. “The competition will only help us become better. In terms of my game, I want to be more commanding of my box and the back-line. I want to have a bigger presence.”
Heading into another season with the Eddies, Farago wants to use his experience in Edmonton to help his new teammates get settled into Edmonton. With a lot of experience about the club and city, Farago feels he can pass on some of his own experiences onto the new signings.
“I’ve really enjoyed my four years in Edmonton and I hope there are many more years to come,” Farago said. “This year I want to get into the staring eleven and then into the national program.”