Until this week, Fire midfielder Benji Joya had never seen snow. (Courtesy of the Chicago…)
It's March. It's still freezing outside. It's still snowing every other day. Which is fine by Benji Joya.
"Actually, yesterday was the first time I saw snow," the Fire midfielder said Tuesday at the team's season kickoff luncheon. He hails from San Jose, Calif. "It was something new to me and something very motivational. Right now I probably like it. Maybe next year I won't, but right now I'm enjoying it.
"I just wanna go throw myself in it, but it's cold—I touched it and it's cold. It's not like the cartoons where it's all soft and stuff."
Prior to joining the Fire, Joya, 20, played professionally in Mexico. The team had been training in Florida and Arizona before returning to Chicago early this week.
"It's really nice getting to know [my teammates]," he said. "It was never like me, a new player [being an outsider]. It's just something normal, just coming in and fitting in."
His sunny outlook extends to the weather advantage playing in Chicago can provide.
"It's like in Mexico, the players would come down to Torreon and it was hot, so they would get tired pretty fast," Joya said. "I haven't played [in Chicago yet], but I think it's something to take as an advantage because teams are gonna be cold."
The Fire open the MLS season Sunday in L.A. against Chivas USA.
Chris Sosa is RedEye's sports editor.
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