Ahead of tomorrow’s huge playoff game against the New York Red Bulls, Chicago Fire defender João Meira is trying to stay focused on the task at hand.
But with the regular season over and the playoffs being as unforgiving as they are, it’s hard not to try and take stock over the past year. Meira doesn’t know what the future holds for him— although soliciting offers on Twitter to buy his car certainly raised some eyebrows— but he’s trying to let that be a problem for tomorrow.
In an interview with Portuguese-language podcast “Linha Lateral,” Meira talked briefly about playing in MLS, prepping for the postseason, and being teammates with Bastian Schweinsteiger. We reached out to Fellipe Miranda from our colleagues at We Ain’t Got No History for help with Portuguese translation.
On the playoffs, Meira says he’s trying to take it game-by-game, and that it requires a much different approach compared to regular league competition. He says that the Fire are committed to doing well in the playoffs, but that they’re not easy and anything can happen.
Regarding MLS, he talked about how it’s much different from other leagues he’s played in. He notes that teams which don’t finish at or near the top of the table can still become champions if they get hot at the right time. He also notes that the path to continental competition is much different compared to Europe.
He also said that MLS overall is less “professional” compared to the Portuguese top flight, where organization and pre-match prep are taken very seriously and results are the only thing that matters. In MLS, he says, teams and players sometimes focus more on “having a good game” and that they “play with their heart.” He admitted that this can be frustrating at times, and that acclimating to MLS’ more relaxed vibe took some time.
Meira also talked about teammate Bastian Schweinsteiger. He says that playing alongside him is a privilege, but also that he was surprised at first to see such a major star come to MLS. He thinks Basti has adjusted well to MLS, and that he’s absolutely dedicated to the club.
If you speak Portuguese, or you have a friend who does, give the podcast a listen.