Jan Gregus chased down by Diego Chara
Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota United's Jan Gregus maintains routine during coronavirus stoppage

In the midst of the global coronavirus pandemic, Minnesota United FC’s Jan Gregus is staying fit, remaining calm and keeping himself composed.

The Slovakian international has found routine through daily workouts, the movie section on Netflix and staying in touch with distant family.

“I feel good about myself, but these are strange, strange times; I’m used to training twice a day on the football pitch. We have this training program from our team and then for a second workout, I do whatever I want or am feeling to help stay fit,” Gregus said. “I don’t know a lot of shows, but I like to watch movies on Netflix when I get a bit bored.”

The initial announcement on March 12 that Major League Soccer would be suspended for 30 days came three days before the Loons, who won their first two games on the road, were set to play their home opener at Allianz Field.

Now the hopeful return is May 10.

“It is what it is, we can’t make an excuse or anything. The safety of everyone is more important than football at the moment,” Gregus said. “Of course we would like to play games every week, but we can't use it as an excuse. We need to stay focused and not let the start we had go to waste.”

Although Gregus misses the pitch, he is asking friends, families and supporters of the club to abide by what the government is asking of them. 

“It’s important to listen to them, the social distance and hand washing and coughing in your elbow,” Gregus said. 

With both of his parents in the heart of the pandemic in Slovakia, Gregus gets a feel for what it's like in a country that has been experiencing difficulties with the virus for over a month by their firsthand accounts.

“My parents were telling me that everything is closed, there is no contact outside with anyone,” he said. “If you see someone on the street you tell them they need to go inside — it’s like from a movie. They need to stay in their houses and the government also said they can’t even use transport if they don’t wear something over their face and mouth. You can’t go out in public without it; it’s kind of crazy.”

For Gregus, checking in with family and friends over the coming weeks while maintaining his own health are high priorities, but staying match fit and being ready for the return of training remain in the back of his mind.

“All we can do now is just be patient and wait and just stay close with your loved ones and enjoy the time together,” he said. “Hopefully we see some football in a few weeks and everyone starts smiling again because I think that will make them happy.”