Q&A with the Loanee's from Chicago

Q&A with the Loanee's from Chicago

On Wednesday morning Saint Louis FC announced the loan signings of midfielders Alex Morrell and Collin Fernandez from The Chicago Fire for the remainder of the 2016 USL Season. The pair joined up with the team on Monday for their first training session at World Wide Technology Soccer Park and the move has been cleared by the league, making them available as soon as tonight's game vs. Sacramento Republic FC.

The promising duo sat down with Saint Louis FC on Tuesday, talking about everything from The Doody Crew to their determination to contribute to the playoff push that lies ahead in the final month of the season.

Background:

Alex Morrell -

Age: 22, (5/11/1994)
Position(s): "Outside Mid, Attacking Mid, Forward. I can play right back as well."
Hometown: Lakeland, Florida
College: University of Northern Florida
Favorite Team(s): Tottenham Hotspur
Favorite Player(s): Lionel Messi

Collin Fernandez -

Age: 19 (2/13/1997)
Position(s): "Central Midfield. Really anywhere in midfield. And out wide."
Hometown: Downers Grove, Illinois
College: N/A. Chicago Fire Academy/Homegrown Player
Favorite Team(s): Chicago Fire and Real Madrid
Favorite Player(s): David Beckham and Ronaldinho growing up. Lionel Messi and Mesut Ozil.

The Interview:

STLFC: Saint Louis FC fans will be interested in learning about you two. What can you tell us about your playing career to this point?

AM: I played at George Jenkins High School in Lakeland Florida. Growing up I played for a small club, Lakeland FC. Eventually, I went to Tampa, which is an hour away and played for Strictly Soccer for a couple of years and that's where I really got noticed by some colleges. I ended up going to UNF and played there all 4 years. We ended up winning a conference title in my last year and I got noticed there and went to the combine and ever since then I've been with Chicago.

CF: I started playing when I was like four or five with a club team. My dad had his own club called Illinois Premier. So I started playing for them when I was like 5 or 6 and then I played there until I was 11 and then I was like, 'I have to make a move somewhere to develop'. So I went to the Chicago Fire Juniors when I was 11 and started playing for them until I was 13. And when I was 13 that was when I went to the academy and started playing for them. So I was at the academy for 5 years, which was a long time. And I've just been with the Fire ever since.

STLFC: How about on the field? A lot of fans won't have seen you play yet. What can they expect from you when you step out on the field for Saint Louis FC for the first time?

AM: Really fast acceleration. Quickness on and off the ball. Just, hardworking. I'm really competitive. And I want to score and get as many assists as possible, too. You know, I'm just out there playing my game.

CF: I can play in the center of midfield. Really anywhere across the midfield and out wide as well. So I'm versatile.

STLFC: Tell us a little bit about the past 48 hours. What has it been like finding out that you were coming on loan to Saint Louis FC, having to meet a whole new team and get set up in a different city?

AM: You know the whole year I've been thinking about I could get sent to St. Louis, I just didn't know when. As soon as they told me, they pulled me in the room and told me that I'm going to St. Louis and I said, 'Great, I'm ready. When?' They said tomorrow. I packed up my stuff and drove down here with Collin. Got set up in the apartment. I'm used to that, you know. Going to college, the PDL and all that so I'm used to getting set up in places. It's been good. Good transition. Coming in here on the first day of practice you're a little nervous, you know, trying to make a good impression and stuff like that with the guys. But everything has been really smooth and I've enjoyed it here so far.

CF: Yeah, we got here Sunday night. It was only like a 4-hour drive, it wasn't bad. We were both pretty anxious to get into training yesterday and then meeting all the guys was pretty cool. All the guys are great so it wasn't hard to adjust. We were just ready to get out and train. Training was good and I was really impressed with what we did… Chad [Bond] is a really good guy. I mean you can tell he's a solid guy in the midfield and he's a leader. He's going to put the team on his shoulders if they need him. AJ also as well. You can tell on the back he's a leader and he's got the voice of the team. And I think that's a big part of having a good, successful team.

STLFC: We all know about the affiliation The Fire and STLFC have, and Alex you said you've been thinking about potentially coming here all season. What had you two heard about Saint Louis FC before you arrived? And what have you heard about it since?

AM: What I've heard from Drew and Doody, I mean they loved it down here. They said the fans were great, the support is great. And I believed them. Ever since I got down here I've realized that the locker room is really cool--we've got a great group of guys here that want to play and I know that we're on the brink of the playoffs right now and I'm going to do everything I can to help that.

CF: I mean I've watched a few games and I've seen the fans. The fans are awesome. The St. Louligans, right? And I've seen what they did with Doody. Doody had his own Crew. So, I mean, the fans seem fantastic. I've watched the guys play. All of them work so hard and I respect that and I want to contribute what I can to what they're doing.


STLFC: Joining Saint Louis FC is a new chapter in the story of your career. What has been your best memory so far?

AM: Up to today, it's probably the draft. It was cool. I was just around a bunch of family and friends. Just nervous the whole time until my name got called and then it was a relief. You know I got the call from Nelson [Rodriguez, General Manager Chicago Fire] and everything. It calmed me down and then I was just really excited to be up there as soon as possible, as soon as it happened.

CF: Making my MLS debut in Columbus. I came in with 10 minutes left. In the 75th minute the coach was like, 'Collin start warming up, we're going to put you in with the last sub'. And I was like, 'Really? Me? [laughs]'. So I sprinted down to the end and started warming up and I got the call in the 80th minute and he was like, 'get your stuff on, get ready'. And I thought wow this is really happening. I couldn't… All the emotions were like… It was awesome. I almost got an assist. I hit a set-piece in and they called a foul on us which was not a foul and if we would've scored I would've had my first MLS assist.

STLFC: Finally, is there anything you want to say to the fans before you take the field for them?

AM: Yeah, we're making this playoff push and I'm going to give my best that I can to help this team and ultimately just push as hard as possible for this club.

CF: I can't wait to step on the field and see you guys out there.

---

Advertisement