Despite being thrown onto a Chicago Fire team that went through a plethora of changes this offseason, rookie defender Kwame Watson-Siriboe has found the atmosphere surrounding the club to be anything but hectic.
"It's been good," Watson-Siriboe said of his first couple of weeks with the Fire. "[The players] are very accepting and welcoming towards me. Obviously it's a big change from college but it's a very good atmosphere to come into." But regardless of how good of an atmosphere Watson-Siriboe is coming into, there are still plenty of adjustments to be made moving from college to the pros.
"The speed of play and also concentrating [are the biggest differences]," Watson-Siriboe said. "When you get to the professional level you have to concentrate on each play because if you don't the opposition will capitalize. And then the speed of play is much faster. Getting used to playing one and two touch soccer can be very difficult."
Helping Watson-Siriboe - who the Fire drafted out of UConn with the 26th pick of this year's draft - make the adjustment to life in MLS is fellow center back C.J. Brown. Brown, 34, has taken the 23-year-old Watson-Siriboe under his wing.
"C.J. Brown has kind of taken me under his wing," said Watson-Siriboe said. "He's just been helping me out so I can advance to the next level."
For now, Watson-Siriboe is taking things one day at a time, looking to improve every training session and earn some playing time.
"Hopefully I'll be getting better throughout the preseason," Watson-Siriboe said. "But it's a dream come true to be drafted and play in the professional ranks. I just want to learn and hopefully get some playing time."