Seattle Sounders recruit Blaise Nkufo says he is not feeling any added pressure as a Designated Player at his new club.
The Switzerland international admitted there was always pressure and expectation linked with the rigours of playing professional football at the highest level but said as a DP in MLS, there was no more than usual.
“Everybody has pressure, it’s not just me,” Nkufo said. “I think all the players of this team have pressure and we have to deal. That’s normal. That’s a part of our job. I just try to get back my feeling, do my job, what I know and what’s connected to the team.”
Sounders GM Adrian Hanauer admitted that expectations may be unfairly weighted on Nkufo’s shoulders, especially after playing in the World Cup and being FC Twente’s leading goalscorer in Holland, but believes he can cope with it.
“It may be harder for him,” Hanauer said. “But we’ve been very clear with him: The fans … are going to expect what they’re going to expect. But, again, our focus is winning. And if Blaise comes in and helps us win – and we signed him because we believe he will – through his leadership, through his experience, he’s a smart soccer player … regardless of how many goals he bangs in, I think our fans will be happy about that.”