Part of the ice-breaking process for players joining new clubs often includes some sort of singing contest or talent show during preseason. The laughs help assimilate players into their new locker room through the intimate language of embarrassment.
Gudi Thorainsson, one of NYCFC's offseason recruits, is no stranger to this. And, unlike the musically-challenged players across the globe, he loves it. It doesn't hurt that he's a renowned singer in his spare time.
In fact, he enjoys flipping the tables on his new teammates.
“I just keep my mouth shut, I don’t say anything," Thorarinsson told MLSsoccer.com. "People expect me to be terrible and feel awkward. But I enjoy it because it’s awkward for them, not for me. So it’s like hey, in your face.”
This was no different when he joined NYCFC, though Anton Tinnerholm knew of his musical prowess from talking to former teammates in Sweden, one of the now five countries Thorarinsson has played.
“Only Anton knew I could sing, but he only told a few people, the rest were quite shocked," Thorarinsson said. "It was very funny.”
Thorarinsson, who wrote an inspirational song during the COVID-19 pandemic, will be a special guest on Thursday night's edition of MLS Idle. Given his history with music, it would have been unfair for him to compete.
He has been around music his whole life and it didn't take long to realize how good he was.
"I kind of found out quite early that I could hit the right tune," Thorarinsson said. "I started singing early, but I was focused on football.”
That focus started at the age of 12. He pursued becoming a professional over all else, including music. As he was going through his teenage years, one of his best friends was desperate for Thorarinsson to sing in his band. After much convincing, he finally acquiesced.
The young band, called Syrkus, was successful. Then 15 years old, they scored some fun gigs, including pubs and parties.
“It went really well even though we were so young," Thorarinsson said. "We were playing some gigs where our mothers had to approve we were allowed to go into some of these places, like at bars or parties where we were not old enough to be. It was really funny, you’re playing a show at a university or something and your mom has to sign a paper giving you permission.”
In recent years, Thorarinsson dove deeper into his love of singing, doing more in his spare time. He realizes he won't be a professional soccer player forever.
“It’s always been a part of me that I neglected in a sense, focusing on football, but now I’m realizing I want to experience music more in the future," Thorarinsson said. "Football obviously doesn’t last your whole life on a top level, so this is something I’d like to build up before the end of my career.”