A Conversation with Lions Defender Luke Boden

Defender Luke Boden recently signed his MLS contract and is officially moving forward with Orlando City as the club transitions into the highest level of competition in the United States. The 25-year-old left back has made 82 appearances with the Lions, amassing 7,456 minutes, scoring four goals with 15 assists.

The Sheffield, England native has his green card and will not count against the club’s international slots. He has previously played for Sheffield Wednesday, Chesterfield, Rushden and Diamonds and Northampton Town.

Boden was kind enough to answer some questions for The Mane Land recently.

Now that you’re signed, how excited are you to be heading to MLS with Orlando City?

Obviously I’m really excited to be going to MLS. It’s something that obviously I aimed for when I came over here. I wanted to play in the best league in America. Thankfully now I’m doing that and now I just need to try to get in the first team and play week in and week out. That’s my next target.

What has Adrian Heath told you about your role with the club as it transitions into a higher league?

We haven’t really spoken particularly about that. I know myself what I need to do better and what I need to work on to play in the first team, as I say, week in and week out. So I know what I need to do better and I need to go and speak to the gaffer about a few things I’m sure. I can do that. I have a good idea what he wants from me—I know exactly what he wants from me. That’s what I’ll be doing in the off-season and that’s what I’ll be doing during the season to try to play regularly for Orlando.

As a defender, you’ll be asked to stop guys like Robbie Keane, Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins and Bradley Wright-Phillips next season. How do you approach a challenge like that?

Obviously it will be great to play against those players. You can really test yourself. Playing against great players improves you as a player. So I’m looking forward to that. But I think you approach it how you would any other game. You give 100 percent and that’s all you can do. I’m looking forward to the challenge and playing against players like that is another great reason to play in the MLS.

What do you feel are the strengths of your game?

The strengths of my game are probably my passing, my crossing and my fitness.

First-year teams have historically not done too well in MLS. What would make Year 1 in MLS a successful season in your estimation?

I think with the coach that we’ve got, with the staff that we’ve got, with the owner that we’ve got, we expect a lot. So I don’t think we’re going to go into this year looking to just be part of the MLS. You look at the signing with Kaka, I think it’s definitely a statement that we’re there to try and win things. I’m sure that they’ll bring in great players and I’m sure that we’ll definitely be challenging next year, so it’ll be really exciting.

 

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