It’s been a long, winding road to MLS for Uruguay native Enzo Martinez, who became the sixth player to join the 2012 Generation adidas class this week. Originally born in Montevideo, the South American playmaker will bring a South American flair to MLS this coming season.
MLSsoccer.com caught up with the recent national champion to discuss a few things ahead of Friday’s combine.
MLSsoccer.com: What are your thoughts about signing a Generation adidas deal and turning pro?
Martinez: It’s something that you dream of for a long time, and when it happens, it doesn’t yet hit you as much as you think it would. It’s an honor to be a part of Generation adidas and to be one of the people they picked. It’s truly an honor.
MLSsoccer.com: Reflecting back on your three years at North Carolina, how did that improve you as a player?
Martinez: I think one of the best things wasn’t so much about the soccer. It’s the belief, you learn more about yourself. It happens to a lot of players where they are really good players back home for their club, then they go to college and in the first year they don’t get the opportunity to play that much, or they’re coming off the bench and that messes with the player’s [head].
Those players that can overcome that first year and be successful, that’s something that no person, no coach can teach you. It’s something I’ve learned, one of the best things I think I learned in college, and of course the soccer side as well.
MLSsoccer.com: How sweet was it to win the national championship with UNC and go out on top?
Martinez: It was the only way I wanted to go, to be honest. That was my goal from the first day I walked in to North Carolina, and I was able to achieve it my last day of playing wearing the blue.
MLSsoccer.com: To fans that haven’t seen you play, how would you describe yourself on the field?
Martinez: I’m from Uruguay, so my style is South American. I love having the ball on my feet, love putting balls through to people, taking people on and helping the team as much as possible.
MLSsoccer.com: Do you have a preferred position?
Martinez: I would love a No. 10 [role], the guy between the forwards and midfielders. I wouldn’t mind playing up top either or on the side.
To be honest, I’m just looking forward to being able to be on a team where I’m needed and that’s where I want to go. Whatever position I’m needed, I’ll play.