Guirassy talks about his stay in the CSL and of his drive to succeed in the MLS Combine

By Ralph 'Onz' Chery

MLS trialist Mamadou Guirassy standing next to Lansdowne Bhoys board member Aiden Corr. Lansdowne Bhoys Images 

 

Dec. 21st, 2017

 

NCAA Division I 2017 Golden Boot winner Mamadou Guirassy had a brief spell with CSL giants Lansdowne Bhoys from November to December.

Guirassy joined the CSL to stay in form for the MLS Pre-Combine that already happened last weekend and for the MLS Combine which will be held from January 11th to January 17th.

“I liked it [playing in the CSL],” Guirassy said in a phone interview with a CSL reporter on Wednesday. “I just finished my college season and was trying to stay in shape, trying to stay ready for the next couple of events, talking about combines and professional tryouts. I think that this league was a good way for me to stay in shape and stay fit with quality players and a quality team that is Lansdowne Bhoys.”

 

Lansdowne Bhoys team picture before their 3-1 win over NY Shamrock SC (Mamadou Guirassy is on the top right corner). Lansdowne Bhoys Images

 

The CSL is a stronger league than the young striker thought.

“The level was actually better than I expected,” Guirassy said, lightly raising his voice through the phone. “I thought it would be like a—not a retirement league—but you know, like older players, the style of play would be not as fast as I thought it would be, so yeah I was pretty impressed with the level of playing.

“There are some very experienced guys, you can feel like they’ve been playing soccer for a while. Playing with them, playing against them they have that thing that you don’t teach, like that thing that you can recognize that somebody played soccer for a while.”

The 23-year-old gave the CSL a taste of that ferocious shot of his that got him an invitation to the MLS Combine Camp, tallying four goals in five games for the Bhoys and a game-winning assist.

Guirassy told the CSL how the Pre-Combine went last weekend. He netted two goals in three games and won his team’s speed test.

“It went pretty well, I think I did alright, I didn’t do as good as I think I can do,” he said. “But I scored two goals in three games and I finished first on my team’s speed test so overall it was a good experience. It was my first time playing in front of MLS scouts, L.A Galaxy head coach was there, there were general managers from Seattle Sounders, Toronto F.C, from Houston Dynamo, so yeah it was a good experience.

“I was excited but at the same time that’s something I’ve been training almost my whole life for, I would say actually the past four years that I’ve been training for it. It’s the beginning of something special, something that I worked very hard for and I did everything in my power so I can be ready whenever the opportunity or chance is there it’s up to me to step up.”

The ex-NJIT superstar mentioned that joining the CSL played a part in his success in the Pre-Combine Camp.

“It helped me,” Guirassy said. “Playing with the players that play on that team [Lansdowne], they kept giving me advice about how you can approach the game, how whenever you go out there, you have to go and not be scared but just go out there and go play your game. That helped me a lot.”

 

Mamadou Guirassy said his Lansdowne Bhoys teammates inspired him to be more confident about his game. Lansdowne Bhoys Images

 

Playing in the pre-combine camp isn’t the highlight of the prodigy’s career, nor is playing DI college soccer, nor playing in one of the top amateur league in the U.S, the CSL. Guirassy expressed that the most influential time of his career was when he played for Guinea U-20 team in the 2016 Toulon Tournament, in which he netted a goal in Guinea’s four games.

“That was special, that was definitely special," the striker said. "If I had to say I had one turning point in my career it would be that one because before playing that tournament with the national team I never really thought I would be good enough to make it to the pros or even thinking about, “I want to make it to the pros.”

“When I played in that tournament I played against teams like England, Portugal, I played against players in the Premier League like [Ruben] Loftus-Cheek. Players who play in England’s senior squad and even the head coach, Gareth Southgate, was actually the head coach of the U-21.

"So when you play against those players, you know, you’re on the field with them, your perception about soccer changes because I was playing against guys I used to see on TV. Okay, they’re very good but I think I can get there with hard work. That’s when I actually put in my mind that I can actually make—maybe I have a shot at the pro world.”

The next step in Guirassy's career is the MLS Combine. If the Frenchman performs as good as he did in the pre-combine hearing his name called in the MLS Draft on Jan. 19th wouldn't be a surprise.

 “I’m almost there [the professional level] but I’m also very far," he said, "because there are a lot of kids that want to do the same thing as me. And we’re all at the same point right now and it’s all on us to impress them.

“But I’m not really scared, I’m at a point in my career where I worked extremely hard for it and I’m confident in my abilities, I know what I’m good at and what I’m not good at and I believe that if I do what I’m good at I’ll be able to show them and I will have my chance at the pros. I’m confident but at the same time I keep working.”

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