Toronto Designated Player Matias Laba discusses his seamless transition from Argentina to MLS
TORONTO — With a month playing in the North American top flight now under his belt, Toronto FC midfielder and young designated player Matías Laba is feeling positive about his first experience playing club football outside of his native Argentina.
“Every day feels more and more comfortable,” Laba told MLSsoccer.com via translator on Tuesday. “With respect to the rhythm of the game and the overall style of play, I am getting more and more comfortable every day.”
Not every player who has come to the MLS from abroad has been able to readily adjust to the unique aspects of the league, including the lengthy travel and the style of play.
WATCH: Laba talks Toronto, MLS
Asked for his early impressions of MLS, the 21-year-old Argentinos Juniors product was quick to admit that he has been impressed with both his new club and his new league.
“It is a very organized league and there are quality players here,” Laba said. “It is definitely something that I would recommend to my friends. The biggest difference is with the better quality pitches here compared to back home.
“Everything is new and everything is a new transition, but one thing I am very thankful for is the fact that the club has done everything possible to help me,” Laba added. “Even with regular daily things, the club has been involved in helping me.”
The former Argentina U-20 international also pointed to his new coach Ryan Nelsen as someone who has been central in helping him make the transition from the Argentine Primera División to the MLS.
“I definitely admire Ryan as a coach and as a person and as a player due to what he achieved before,” Laba said. “He is the type of coach who is very thorough in his approach when he is asking something from you or trying to teach you something. He really makes it easy for me to understand what is expected of me.”
Even with TFC currently in the midst of a lengthy winless streak, the Villa Raffo, Argentina, native was quick to state that he has been buoyed by the chemistry that he has quickly been able to develop with Toronto’s other young midfielders, such as Luis Silva, Jonathan Osorio and Jeremy Hall.
“They are very good players and that makes it easier for me to play alongside them,” Laba said. “I feel there is a core of players that can really work well in the future.”