FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Even the heartiest New Englanders have struggled to cope with the weather this winter. From wind chills well below zero to an unending barrage of snowfall – another mix of snow and rain is on the way this weekend – it’s already been a weary winter in the Northeast and we only recently reached February.
So if those of us conditioned to deal with such an environment are already fed up with the weather, how’s a recently transplanted Southern California native supposed to manage the ruthless climate?
Surprisingly well, actually.
“I don’t mind the snow, I just have to get used to it a little bit,” said rookie defender A.J. Soares, revealing a decidedly relaxed West Coast attitude toward the New England winter. “I had to buy a scraper for my car and I have to shovel my car out every day, but it’s not too bad. Just put a jacket on and I’m all good.”
Soares isn’t just from California. He’s from Solana Beach, a coastal town situated 20 miles north of San Diego and only 35 miles from Tijuana and the Mexican border. This weekend’s weather forecast in Solana Beach calls for sunny skies and temperatures in the lower 70s.
Safe to say, Soares doesn’t have much experience in the snow. Luckily for the 22-year-old selected sixth overall in last month’s MLS SuperDraft, he’s a quick learner.
“This is the first time I’ve driven in the snow and I have a pretty small car,” Soares chuckled. “The first day was a little sketchy, but I got used to it and the roads cleared up a little bit. I’m all good now.”
Unfazed by the unfamiliar climate, Soares has embraced the cold weather, claiming he prefers to play soccer in cooler temperatures anyway. Although he insists he likes the chilly temps – “I honestly don’t mind this weather at all,” he said when asked if he was simply appeasing the locals with his laid back approach to the weather – the winter storms have put a damper on Soares’ move to the Northeast in one respect.
“I’m on the apartment search and everything’s covered in snow, so I can’t really see anything,” he said. “I’m not even sure where the cool part of town is, but I’ve been talking to the guys and they’ve been helping me out a little bit.”
It’s the welcoming attitude of the coaching staff and his teammates which has made Soares’ transition to New England so seamless, despite the minor delay in finding suitable living arrangements.
“[The club] is exactly what people told me it would be,” he said. “I’d heard the Revolution had the coolest locker room in the league – a bunch of nice guys, a good atmosphere and that’s exactly what it’s been.
“It’s been really fun hanging out with the guys, sticking around after training and just getting to know the guys,” Soares continued. “I sit next to some cool guys in the locker room, so it’s been nice so far. I’ve really enjoyed it.”